Gavin Newsom declares monkeypox state of emergency

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday declared a State of Emergency to combat the outbreak of Monkeypox in the Golden State.

“California is working urgently across all levels of government to slow the spread of monkeypox, leveraging our robust testing, contact tracing and community partnerships strengthened during the pandemic to ensure that those most at risk are our focus for vaccines, treatment and outreach,” Gov. Newsom said in a statement. “We’ll continue to work with the federal government to secure more vaccines, raise awareness about reducing risk, and stand with the LGBTQ community fighting stigmatization.”

What is Monkeypox?

Monkeypox is a rare disease that is caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. Monkeypox virus belongs to the Orthopoxvirus genus which includes the variola (smallpox) virus as well as the vaccinia virus, which is used in the smallpox vaccine. Monkeypox is of public health concern because the illness is similar to smallpox and can be spread from infected humans, animals, and materials contaminated with the virus. Monkeypox is less transmissible and usually less severe than smallpox.

California Department of Public Health

It seems as though the biggest early misconception of Monkeypox is that it’s a sexually transmitted disease, it is NOT. Anyone can contract it from close personal contact. While the vast majority of early cases overwhelmingly self-identify as gay or bisexual, it is NOT an LGBTQ+ specific outbreak.