Two more monkeypox cases confirmed in Suffolk, as health officials launch education campaign and county plans pop-up vaccine clinics

Two additional confirmed cases of monkeypox have been identified in Suffolk County, according to the New York State Department of Health, bringing the total number of cases in Suffolk to three.

There have been a total of 153 confirmed cases in New York as of July 7, according to the State Health Department. To date, 141 cases were confirmed in New York City, six in Westchester County, and one each in Sullivan, Chemung and Rockland counties, in addition to the three in Suffolk.

State health officials today announced New York’s monkeypox response strategy, which aims to distribute its limited supply of the monkeypox vaccine to “individuals with known or likely exposure in areas with the highest number of cases.”

Statewide eligibility currently includes:

  • Individuals with recent exposure to monkeypox within the past 14 days.
  • Those at high risk of a recent exposure to monkeypox, including members of the gay, bisexual, transgender, and gender non-conforming community and other communities of men who have sex with men and who have engaged in intimate or skin-to-skin contact with others in the past 14 days in areas where monkeypox is spreading.
  • Individuals who have had skin-to-skin contact with someone in a social network experiencing monkeypox activity, including men who have sex with men who meet partners through an online website, digital application (“app”), or social event, such as a bar gold party.

The federal government has allocated 8,195 doses of the monkeypox vaccine to New York State, with 5,989 doses going to New York City. Of the remaining 2,206 doses, 750 will be distributed to Suffolk County, 450 to Westchester County, 400 to Nassau County, 300 to Saratoga County, and 40 each to Rockland and Sullivan counties.

Tomorrow, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone will

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, joined by Northwell Health officials and LGBTQ+ advocates, will announce tomorrow the rollout of the monkeypox vaccine in Suffolk County.

The county, in partnership with Northwell Health, will begin to host vaccine pop-up clinics for eligible individuals next week on Fire Island, including in Cherry Grove and Fire Island Pines, according to a media advisory from the county executive’s office.

The State Health Department said today it has launched a public education campaign to get information about monkeypox to New Yorkers. The campaign includes a website with free downloadable informational materials.

“Monkeypox is a rare, viral infection that does not usually cause serious illness,” the State Health Department said. “Although the current strain of monkeypox that is circulating in the US is rarely fatal, symptoms can be extremely painful, and people might have permanent scarring resulting from the rash.”

At this time, there have been no deaths associated with the current outbreak, health officials said.

Anyone can get monkeypox, which is primarily spread through close, physical contact between people. Based on the current outbreak, certain populations are being affected more than others, including men who have sex with men.

Information from previous outbreaks around the world indicate that elderly New Yorkers, those with weakened immune systems, pregnant people, and children under 8 years of age may be at heightened risk for severe outcomes, the State Health Department said.

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