Two of the hardest-hit U.S. regions have raised the alert level over the monkeypox outbreak.
San Francisco declared a public health emergency Thursday. The city accounts for 281 of California’s nearly 800 cases. The declaration gives health officials access to additional resources to deal with the outbreak.
New York, with nearly 1,400 cases statewide, made a similar declaration Thursday.
Worldwide, more than 21,000 cases have been reported in 78 countries, nearly all of them outside West and Central Africa, where the virus is endemic. The World Health Organization (WHO) raised the threat level to its highest ranking last weekend.
The U.S. case count is nearing 5,000, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The federal government has not declared an emergency but announced plans Thursday to distribute nearly 800,000 additional doses of monkeypox vaccine.
U.S. health officials said they had already distributed 340,000 doses, but many jurisdictions have reported that they have had to turn away patients because of short supplies.
Here are some answers to frequently asked questions.
Who gets monkeypox, and how?
The outbreak has been concentrated among men who have sex with men, though anyone can get monkeypox.
The virus spreads through contact with the rash that infected patients develop. It can also pass through bodily fluids, respiratory droplets after prolonged face-to-face contact or contaminated clothing, bedding or towels.