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San Francisco declares emergency over monkeypox spread

Baku, July 29, AZERTAC

The mayor of San Francisco announced a state of emergency Thursday over the growing number of monkeypox cases, allowing officials to cut through red tape and fight a public health crisis reminiscent of the AIDS epidemic that began devastating the city in the 1980s, according to AP.

“We are at a very scary place. And we don’t want to be ignored by the federal government in our need. So many leaders of the LGBT community have also, weeks ago, asked for additional help and support and assistance,” said Mayor London Breed.

The city is in “desperate need of vaccines,” she said.

The declaration, which takes effect Monday, was welcomed by gay advocates who have grown increasingly frustrated by what they called San Francisco’s lackluster response to a virus that so far has affected primarily men who have sex with men, although anyone can get infected.

The city has 281 cases, out of about 800 in California and 4,600 nationwide, according to the San Francisco Department of Public Health. A national shortage of vaccine has resulted in people waiting in line for hours for scarce doses, often to be turned away when the shots run out.

Despite the problems with vaccine supply, federal officials said Thursday that the country’s monkeypox outbreak can still be stopped, amid worries that the U.S. has missed the window to contain the virus.

The monkeypox virus spreads through prolonged skin-to-skin contact, which includes sex, kissing, breathing at close range, and sharing bedding and clothing, the public health department said. Health officials are asking people who could be at risk to cover exposed skin when out in crowds and to watch out for symptoms, such as fever, blisters and rashes.

The World Health Organization over the weekend declared the monkeypox outbreak in more than 70 countries a global emergency

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