NY still at the epicenter of Monkeypox outbreak

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — As Monkeypox cases continue to rise here in New York, and across the country, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is calling for action. Here in Monroe County, we have six cases, and out of the 6,000 confirmed cases in the U.S., New York accounts for over 1,600 cases alone. New York City is still the epicenter of the outbreak.

News10NBC hears from Gillibrand on her efforts to help slow the spread throughout the state. She says more needs to be done to ensure those that are infected have access to treatment, and also ensure that the virus doesn’t spread to the greater population.

This week Gillibrand sent a letter to President Joe Biden to invoke the Defense Prevention Act. Gillibrand says this will ramp up the manufacturing of Monkeypox vaccines.

According to the CDC, the virus is transmitted through close skin-to-skin contact with an infected person. Symptoms include skin rashes, bumps, and blisters. Gillibrand says the Defense Prevention Act will also give manufacturers the resources they need to make these vaccines available to more people at an accelerated rate.

"We can build on the lessons of Covid-19, and use the knowledge to act more decisively as we fight against this disease. That means quickly addressing staffing shortages and overburdened health care system that is still grappling with the impact of responding to COVID," said Gillibrand.

Weill Cornell Medical College Dr. Jay Varma added, "What we see now with Monkeypox is the same we’ve seen with other viruses, that if we don’t use all of the tools we have at our disposal, Americans will become sick needlessly from a disease that we actually have the tools to prevent."

Last week Governor Kathy Hochul declared a State of Disaster Emergency due to the Monkeypox outbreak in the state. New York also received 170,000 doses of the Monkeypox vaccine.