Pritzker declares a public health emergency for Monkeypox

Gov. JB Pritzker
Gov. JB Pritzker(Mike Miletich)
Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 4:36 PM CDT
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QUINCY (WGEM) - Gov. J.B. Pritzker declared a public health emergency on Monday for the Monkeypox Virus.

The proclamation declared the state of Illinois a disaster area regarding the disease.

This declaration will allow the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) to utilize resources to help responding to, treating and preventing the spread of monkeypox. Along with this, the proclamation will also help state agencies in coordinating response with the federal government.

“MPV is a rare, but potentially serious disease that requires the full mobilization of all available public health resources to prevent the spread,” Pritzker said. “That’s why I am declaring a state of emergency to ensure smooth coordination between state agencies and all levels of government, thereby increasing our ability to prevent and treat the disease quickly. We have seen this virus disproportionately impact the LGBTQ+ community in its initial spread. Here in Illinois we will ensure our LGBTQ+ community has the resources they need to stay safe while ensuring members are not stigmatized as they access critical health care.”

Proclaiming a state of disaster will allow the IDPH to expand vaccine and testing capacities with the help of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and with state and federal recovery and assistance funds.

The proclamation takes effect immediately and is in place for 30 days.

On July 23, the World Health Organization declared monkeypox a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. The CDC has been closely monitoring the outbreak across the U.S.

Right now, Illinois has 520 confirmed or presumptive cases of monkeypox. This is the third most in the country. The federal government has provided Illinois 7,000 doses of the vaccine, with 13,000 additional doses expected soon.

IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra said containing the outbreak swiftly and comprehensively is key.

“A comprehensive and swift response is key when containing a disease outbreak,” said IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra. “These measures will allow the state to deploy all our resources in fighting this disease and will open efficient lines of communication and cooperation across state lines, an essential step in tracking monkeypox and improving tools and processes to prevent and address it.”

For more information about the Monkeypox Virus, visit the CDC’s website.

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