Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) on Monday declared a state of emergency over monkeypox in order to “expand the resources” needed to combat the current outbreak.
“The Monkeypox Virus is a rare, but potentially serious disease that requires the full mobilization of all available public health resources to prevent the spread,” Pritzker said in a statement.
“I am declaring a state of emergency to expand the resources and coordination efforts of state agencies in responding to, treating, and preventing the spread of MPV.”
There are currently 5,000 monkeypox cases confirmed in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Illinois currently ranks third in terms of cases — behind New York and California — with 520 confirmed cases.
Last week, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) declared a state disaster emergency in response to monkeypox in order to “respond more swiftly to the outbreak.” Some cities, including San Francisco and New York City, have also declared emergencies in response to monkeypox outbreaks.
The World Health Organization has already declared the outbreak of monkeypox in nonendemic countries to be a global health emergency.
Calls have grown for President Biden to declare a nationwide health emergency in the U.S. over monkeypox, with a collection of high-ranking members of Congress uniting in urging him to do so. Administration officials say the decision is still under consideration.
Local health authorities and public health experts have said that declaring a public health emergency would help coordinate the national monkeypox strategy and allow for data to be more easily shared between states and the federal government.