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‘Moment Of Pride’ In Public Health

KEY POINTS

  • The federal public health emergency also expired Jan. 31
  • There is still mpox transmission in NYC, but at “low levels”
  • Mpox vaccinations are still available in the city

New York City has declared an end to the mpox outbreak. This may interest you : ‘There’s A Lot Of Money Tied Up’. The city lauded the collaborative efforts that brought about the end of the outbreak.

The city made the declaration Wednesday, in line with the expiration of the federal public health emergency on Jan. 31, NYC Health noted in a press release. Once the epicenter of the outbreak, the city has administered more than 150,000 mpox vaccine doses, second only to California, which has administered more than 289,000.

“The end of the mpox outbreak is a moment of pride for us in public health, and represents the best of science and society coming together for quick action,” Dr. Ashwin Vasan, commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, said in the NYC Health release, citing the city’s public health and awareness strategies. “Combined with widespread and deep community partnerships, leadership from affected communities and advocates and the steadfast engagement of providers and many others, we have dramatically reduced transmission, and are better prepared for future outbreaks.”

Apart from the public health aspects of the outbreak, authorities, communities and advocates had to tackle issues such as health care access, homophobia, racism and transphobia, leading to the name change from “monkeypox” to mpox. New York City, as per NYC Health, was among the first to rally for a name change in response.

As of 2 p.m. EDT on Feb. 1, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has logged 30,123 total 2022 U.S. mpox cases. New York is among the areas with the highest mpox case counts, along with California, Texas and Florida, all logging thousands of cases each.

Worldwide, the CDC’s 2022 Global Case Count has logged more than 85,500 total confirmed cases, 84,238 of which were in places that didn’t historically report mpox cases. The U.S. has been among the countries leading the number of cases.

Although mpox isn’t gone yet, cases have begun winding down from the peaks in 2022, CNN reported. From the August peak, when there were more than 400 cases a day, the average number of daily new cases has now been in the single digits for a month. This is also the trend in NYC, where the rate fell from 70 cases a day during the peak to a “seven-day average of zero” across January.

Still, NYC authorities are urging providers to be on alert, testing patients who present with mpox symptoms. As the agency noted, even though the outbreak has been declared to be over, mpox transmission is still occurring in NYC, albeit at “low levels.”

Mpox vaccinations are also still available in the city. Those at higher risk of mpox may get their vaccinations either through their provider or at these locations.

“Our community vaccine hubs and mobile vaccine clinics have met people where they are, as they are, removing barriers to ensure those who identify as members of the LGBTQ+ communities receive the full protection of the vaccine and the culturally-responsive, gender-affirming care they deserve,” Andrew B. Wallach, ambulatory care chief medical officer at NYC Health + Hospitals, said in the NYC Health release.

We are proud to have played a critical role in the City’s successful mpox response and thankful to all the frontline healthcare workers, engagement teams and community partners who worked so tirelessly to keep their fellow New Yorkers safe,” Wallach added.

AFP