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New York governor declares state of emergency amid rise in polio cases

Yahoo Finance health reporter Anjalee Khemlani explains why Gov. Kathy Hochul is declaring a state of emergency in New York due to polio cases and also provides the latest update on monkeypox.

Video Transcript

SEANA SMITH: Well, New York has declared a state of emergency in response to the polio virus. Polio has been detected in sewage samples from four counties in the New York Metropolitan area and the city itself. Anjalee Khemlani is here with more on that. Anj.

ANJALEE KHEMLANI: That's right, Seana. We got the word from that executive order from the governor today. And that's after that latest site report of a polio virus detected in Nassau County in Long Island. And so what this really means, what the state of emergency really helps to do, is to allow more vaccinations to take place in places where they normally wouldn't.

It allows EMS professionals, as well as midwives and pharmacists, to administer the polio vaccine, and to really help get out into the community. And that's really the goal of this state of emergency declaration. It also requires the health department to start collecting and storing immunization data so they can track where the lack of immunization is coming from.

This comes at a time where New York is reporting about 76% of kids vaxxed against polio. And that's really a number that is broadly around the state, and it's less in some parts of the state, according to the governor. She also noted that vaccine hesitancy and fatigue during the pandemic has contributed to lowering of vaccination rates among kids.

And that is something that we've seen, not just in New York, but actually globally. The World Health Organization has also talked about a reduction and the disruption in childhood vaccinations as a result of the pandemic. This is all really playing a part and also kind of points to where some of the vulnerabilities are around the country. If you look at where there are lower vaccinations rate, that might be of concern.

RACHELLE AKUFFO: And Anj, another health story we're following, of course, is monkeypox. What's the latest update on the spread of that?

ANJALEE KHEMLANI: That's right. Unfortunately, we have a second death of a person infected with monkeypox, but not yet clear on whether or not that is the cause out in Los Angeles. Now that is the second one in the country. We did note that there was one a couple of weeks ago in Texas that is also still under investigation. The CDC continues to report zero total deaths in the US as of today.

We also know that the NIH has started to-- started trials of the smallpox vaccine, JYNNEOS, and the treatment, TPOXX, to test both of those efficacies against monkeypox. Right now, we're seeing a total of 18 deaths worldwide, half of which were in endemic countries, and more than 56,000 cases in more than 100 countries reported, the US accounting for 21,500 of those.

SEANA SMITH: All right, Anjalee, thanks so much for that.