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Albany County reports another monkeypox case, while Columbia County gets vaccine

Aug 03, 2022 1:23 pm

Steve Hughes reports in the Times Union that a second Albany County resident has been reported infected with the monkeypox virus. That brings New York's total case count to 1,617, according to state health data posted Aug. 2. Albany County has reported two cases, and Greene and Columbia counties have recorded one case each since the outbreak began earlier this year. Gov. Kathy Hochul declared a state disaster emergency on July 29 because of the outbreak. That declaration widened the pool of eligible individuals who can administer monkeypox vaccines, including EMS personnel, pharmacists, and midwives. So far, though, monkeypox testing is difficult to come by locally. "Several local urgent care centers and health care providers contacted by the Times Union last week indicated that their physicians were not prepared to perform a monkeypox test, which involves swabbing a suspicious blister and sending it to a lab," the story says. Meanwhile, Columbia County got its first batch of 40 doses of the monkeypox vaccine from the New York State Department of Health, officials said Aug. 1. “The way the state is working at the moment — and this may change when more vaccines become available — is that the only way a county gets the vaccine is if they have a positive,” Columbia County Department of Health Director Jack Maab said. “So we had our first positive two weeks ago and they send you 40 doses. So I was just on a call on Friday with other counties and Albany County and Sullivan County had two positives so they got 80 doses each.” Monkeypox spreads through skin-to-skin contact. Greene County has not received any monkeypox vaccine as of Aug. 1. “Now we just play the waiting game,” Greene County Administrator Shaun Groden said. “I guess I would fully expect to have more positives. We’re not that far from the city and we are a tourist location.” Read more about this story in the Times Union.