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New York State Declares Monkeypox a Public Health Emergency

Monkeypox is a rare viral infection that does not usually cause serious illness. However, it can result in hospitalization or death. On July 29, 2022 New York Governor Kathy Hochul issued an executive order calling monkeypox an "imminent threat to public health." The executive order “enables the state to respond more swiftly to the outbreak and allows health care professionals to take additional steps that will help get more New Yorkers vaccinated.”


Monkeypox is spread through close physical contact between individuals. This includes:

  • Direct contact with monkeypox sores or rashes on an individual who has monkeypox.

  • Respiratory droplets or oral fluids from someone with monkeypox, particularly for those who have close contact with someone or are around them for a long period of time.

It can also be spread through contact with objects or fabrics (e.g., clothing, bedding, towels) that have been used by someone with monkeypox. Based on the current outbreak, certain populations are being affected by monkeypox more than others, including men who have sex with men. This includes people with weakened immune systems, elderly New Yorkers, young children under 8 years of age, and pregnant people.


The CDC’s guidance for individuals exposure to monkeypox recommends that exposed individuals monitor themselves for symptoms for 21 days and take their temperature twice a day but no quarantine is required at this time.

New Yorkers can protect themselves by:

  • Asking your sexual partners whether they have a rash or other symptoms consistent with monkeypox.

  • Avoiding skin-to-skin contact with someone who has a rash or other monkeypox-related symptoms.

  • If you are exposed or experience symptoms, make sure you reach out to a health care provider.

  • Follow reputable sources of health information, including NYS Department of Health, CDC, and your local county health department.

Cases in New York have declined in recent weeks but officials still urge that those who are at risk to talk to their healthcare providers about whether or not they should get vaccinated.


PMP will continue to watch for future developments as they become available and if you have any questions, please reach out to PMP for assistance.