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SACRAMENTO, Calif. – In a bid to improve vaccine distribution, California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a public health state of emergency on Monday in response to the rapid spread of the monkeypox virus.

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“California is working urgently across all levels of government to slow the spread of monkeypox, leveraging our robust testing, contact tracing and community partnerships strengthened during the pandemic to ensure that those most at risk are our focus for vaccines, treatment and outreach,” Newsom said in a prepared statement.

The declaration is intended to make it easier to hold community vaccine clinics and to also allow more health workers – such as paramedics and emergency medical technicians – to administer vaccines, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

California has the second-highest number of infections nationwide, trailing only New York, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.

Monkeypox: NY governor declares state ‘disaster emergency’ over virus

Newsom’s declaration was issued five days after San Francisco Mayor London Breed declared an emergency in response to the virus, three days after New York Gov. Kathy Hochul did the same, two days after New York City Mayor Eric Adams followed suit and hours after Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker declared a statewide emergency.

Monkeypox: Illinois governor declares state of emergency over virus

Monkeypox typically begins with flu-like symptoms and swelling of the lymph nodes before progressing to a rash or lesions across the body, extremities and genitals, NBC News reported.

Most infections last two to four weeks, KSDK reported.

Per the CDC, “early data suggest that gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men make up a high number of cases. However, anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has monkeypox is at risk.”

As of 2 p.m. EDT Monday, New York had confirmed 1,390 monkeypox cases, followed by California with 827 and Illinois with 520, according to the CDC. U.S. cases totaled 5,811.