A look at New York's battle against 3 disease outbreaks 

Public health officials across New York are attempting to cope with the threat of three simultaneous disease outbreaks — COVID-19, monkeypox and polio — which emphasizes how the nation's public health infrastructure is not equipped to handle multiple outbreaks, Politico reported Oct. 2. 

"They're basically leaning on a skeleton crew of people and then have to deal with one emergency after the other," Jay Varma, MD, director of the Center for Pandemic Prevention and Response at New York City-based Weill Cornell Medicine, told Politico. "The reality is they should be getting a lot more money and all the other states should be getting more, too."

Mary Bassett, MD, the state health commissioner, told Politico the state does not have enough public health resources or support. 

"I'm not just talking about New York State — I'm talking about the investment in public health nationally," she said. "We will meet the challenge. But it's done by people working very long hours and losing sleep." 

Health officials finally felt as though their work was "returning to a normal pace" in May, until monkeypox hit, Politico reported. The July 21 case of a man in Rockland County infected with polio has only further strained health departments — with Dr. Bassett declaring it an "imminent threat to public health" Sept. 28.

 

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