NEW YORK (PIX11) – The monkeypox outbreak is officially over in New York City, the city’s Health Department announced on Wednesday.
The declaration came after the United States public health emergency expired on Jan. 31.
The Health Department said vaccination efforts led to more than 100,000 immunizations across the five boroughs since early summer 2022. DOH also cited its partnerships with community organizations that resulted in behavior change among the most at-risk groups and individuals, especially members of the LGBQT+ community.
“The end of the monkeypox outbreak is a moment of pride for us in public health,” Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan said in a statement. “Our city was the first in the nation to pilot effective strategies, driving both public awareness and official response strategies. We have dramatically reduced transmission and are better prepared for future outbreaks.”
From May to December 2022, 3,821 cases of monkeypox were reported in New York City, most of them among people who identify as LGBTQ+, per the Health Department. Nearly 35% of cases were experienced by New Yorkers who identified as Hispanic/Latino, around 27% among patients who identified as Black/African American, and 22.4% self-identified as white, according to a final outbreak report released by DOH.
While cases were documented across the nation, New York City was once the epicenter of the monkeypox outbreak, with around 70 new positive cases reported per day. By comparison, the Health Department documented an average of zero cases per day through much of January.
This does not mean the disease has been eradicated; monkeypox transmission continues to occur, just at a lower level. The Health Department advised doctors and medical staff to continue testing patients for the virus when they present with symptoms. Vaccines are still available for both first and second doses at several locations across New York City. To find a vaccine site closest to you, check out vaccinefinder.nyc.gov.