So far, about 30 cases of the rash-causing virus have been found in The Big Apple, which are usually only seen in Africa. Almost all have been of men having sex with men.
To contain the rising case, the New York City Department of Health opened a clinic Thursday to roll out a two-dose genius vaccine — which is 85 percent effective against infections — to control the outbreak.
It is being given to men aged 18 years and above who have had multiple or anonymous sexual partners in the past 14 days.
More than 100 people queued at Manhattan’s Chelsea Sexual Health Clinic when it opened at 11 a.m. this morning. The demand forced the city to postpone the walk-in appointments within three hours.
With all its appointments at the clinic now booked till Monday, health officials said they hope to make more slots available ‘soon’. Manhattan borough president Mark Levine says the city has only been allocated 1,000 doses so far.
It comes two days before the pride celebrations in the city, which are expected to draw a crowd of over two million.
New York City health officials have yet to announce any further guidance for the weekend, while areas that hold Pride celebrations, including Chicago and San Francisco, say they will distribute fliers and ‘public service’ on the disease. Will announce.
Vaccines are being offered at the Chelsea Sexual Health Clinic (pictured). Around 100 people were reportedly queuing outside today, forcing the city to shelve its plans for walk-in appointments after three hours.
The map above shows the states that have detected cases of monkeypox, and are tallied by state. Red numbers show change in cases in the last 24 hours
Officials say that monkeypox vaccination is being done at the clinic on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday between 11 am and 7 pm.
They have not disclosed how they are determining whether patients have sex with men or have multiple sexual partners, although this is likely being done through a questionnaire.
The Jynneous vaccine – which uses a weakened virus – sees patients receiving two injections spaced 28 days apart.
US boosts monkeypox testing to expedite diagnosis
The Biden administration has begun shipping monkeypox tests to commercial laboratories, to expedite the diagnosis of suspected infections.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is sending the swabs to laboratories including Aegis Science, LabCorp, Mayo Clinic Laboratories, Quest Diagnostics and Sonic Healthcare.
It said it would significantly expand the country’s capacity to test for monkeypox.
Previously, testing has largely been confined to public health laboratories, which have a combined capacity of about 8,000 tests per week.
“All Americans should be concerned about cases of monkeypox,” Health and Human Services Secretary Javier Becerra said in a statement.
‘Thankfully we have the tools to fight and treat cases in America right now.
‘By dramatically expanding the number of testing locations across the country, we are making it possible for anyone who is tested to do so.’
It was designed to fight smallpox, but health officials say it may also work against monkeypox because the two viruses are similar.
After the slots ended today, the department said: ‘We expect more appointments to be available soon.
‘We are in talks with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to get a higher dose and to see how we can ramp up our capacity across the city.’
New York is one of the first cities in the US to begin introducing monkeypox vaccines more widely.
The city – including San Francisco among others – was already offering to quarantine contacts of confirmed monkeypox cases.
Announcing the roll-out today, Mayor Eric Adams said: ‘As I’ve said from day one, we’re prepared, not panicky, and this monkeypox vaccination site is another important tool in keeping New Yorkers healthy.
‘Starting today, eligible New Yorkers who may have been exposed to monkeypox can now get vaccinated to stay safe and slow the spread.’
The US has now seen a total of 156 cases of the virus nationwide in almost half of its states.
But experts fear that many more cases are currently unreported because they have been mistaken for other diseases or because of problems accessing tests.
New York City has the largest outbreak of any metropolis nationwide.
At the state level, California has the largest outbreak with 40 cases, followed by the state of New York and Illinois at 19.
The Biden administration announced today that it is releasing swabs to commercial laboratories for the disease in an effort to expedite diagnosis and control measures.
It comes as America gears up for more Pride celebrations in major cities later this week.
Chicago health officials have said they will place a ‘special emphasis’ on Pride in their warnings this weekend, and have assigned fliers to programs to protect themselves from monkeypox.
San Francisco has also said it will make ‘public service announcements’ during Pride in the city – expected to draw a crowd of more than 500,000 – to remind people to stay safe.
Most people who catch monkeypox have a mild infection that gets better within four weeks.
But statistics show that one in 100 people who are infected suffer a serious illness that results in their death.
The disease is mainly spread through physical contact with infectious skin lesions or by touching clothing and bedding that the patient has come into contact with.
In rare cases, the CDC says it can also be transferred through ‘constant’ face-to-face contact.
Infected people experience rashes around the genital and anal areas as the first symptom, before the rash spreads to the rest of the body. They may also experience flu-like symptoms.