New York City becomes the first in the US to record more than 100 cases of monkeypox just over a week after Pride celebrations as national tally rises to 605
- City’s Department of Health says it has now registered 119 cases of monkeypox
- Before Pride weekend concerns were raised that it could spread the disease
- But these were brushed under the carpet, with few warnings put out at events
New York City became the first place in America to record more than 100 cases of monkeypox late Wednesday, just over a week after its annual Pride celebrations.
The city’s Department of Health revealed it has now spotted 119 infections with the tropical disease, up by half on the same time seven days ago.
Before the Pride weekend concerns were raised that the events — which drew crowds numbering more than 2 million — could spread monkeypox.
In San Francisco officials have already linked several Pride-themed parties in nightclubs to outbreaks of the disease.
America has recorded 605 cases of monkeypox to date, with most in New York, California and Florida. No deaths have been reported.
Experts warned before the Pride weekend that people should avoid skin-to-skin contact where possible, which is how the virus transmits.
But health officials mostly brushed them under the carpet, with little attempt made to put out posters or have boots on the ground warning people over the disease.
Just 1,000 doses of a monkeypox vaccine were rolled out — in a city of 8.3million — before the event, which was branded as ‘ridiculous’.
US could ‘lose control’ of monkeypox, experts say
Experts are warning that gaps in testing and vaccine coverage will leave the United States vulnerable to losing control of the monkeypox outbreak.
Public health leaders from the National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD) and George Washington University (GW) say that the response is ‘fractured’ which is likely to have ‘severe consequences’.
Previously, they have warned that the virus has likely been spreading undetected in the U.S. for some time, and fear it could become endemic in the nation is not curbed soon.
‘Where we have lagged is streamlining testing, making vaccines available, streamlining access to the best therapeutics,’ David Harvey, executive director of the NCSD told The Hill.
‘All three areas have been bureaucratic and slow, and that means we haven’t contained this outbreak.’
Health officials in the city are yet to reveal whether any Pride events have been linked to outbreaks of monkeypox.
But in San Francisco — where Pride celebrations were attended by an estimated 1.7million people — cases have already been traced back to two events.
People who went to Afterglow about nine days ago were warned over potential exposure to monkeypox Monday.
The following day Electroluxx — a large party attended mostly by gay men — also revealed that at least one attendee had since tested positive for the tropical disease.
There are mounting concerns among experts that monkeypox is now ‘out of control’ in the United States.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is currently carrying out little more than a hundred tests for the virus every 24 hours.
It has now signed on a commercial lab that could do more than 1,000 a day, although it is unclear when it will reach this number.
Experts say that the poor testing regime is leaving many cases undetected, raising the risk they could spread monkeypox to others.
Vaccines are being rolled out to gay or bisexual men who have sex with multiple partners every fortnight in New York city and Washington D.C. to stem the outbreak.
Yesterday New York began offering 6,000 more slots for being jabbed against the tropical disease.
But within hours the slots filled up once again amid high demand, leaving many trying to get the vaccine empty-handed.
The roll out also faced a ‘technical glitch’, with some able to book their jabs early while others were locked out of the system.
It comes as the World Health Organization (WHO) revealed it would re-convene to consider whether to declare the outbreak an international emergency.
Top officials at the agency met last week, but decided not to hit the panic button.
However, cases have now climbed to more than 6,000 globally across at least 40 countries, with concerns mounting the disease could spill over into more at risk groups including older people and those with underlying health conditions.
Only one death has been reported so far in Nigeria, although there are fears this number could yet rise.
Revealing the decision to re-convene, WHO director Tedros Ghebreyesus said they were aiming to meet again in the week of July 18.
Declaring an international emergency would lead to the WHO urging a ‘coordinated’ response between all nations affected.