New York City said it was the first city in the United States to provide monkey box vaccines to a large group at risk of contracting the disease.
The network said “CBSU.S. News reports that city health officials have decided to give ape vaccines to “homosexuals over the age of 18 who have multiple or unknown sexual partners over the past 14 days, bisexuals and other men who have sex with men.”
The network said the decision was made in line with similar decisions made by several countries, including the United Kingdom and Canada, and would expand the scope of the monkey flu vaccine.
Although most of the outbreaks worldwide are in men who have sex with men, authorities warn that anyone can get the disease through close physical contact with the victim.
Hundreds of people lined up in front of health centers on Thursday to receive the vaccine, CBS New York reported.
Local officials say they are working with disease control and prevention centers to order more of the monkey box vaccine in national stock.
Federal health officials have confirmed that the CDC is now working with several state and local health departments across the country to expand eligibility for the monkey box vaccine.
So far, more than 3,000 confirmed cases of confirmed monkey flu have been reported worldwide, including 173 in the United States.
No deaths have been reported in the United States so far from the virus that causes rash and ulcers that last for weeks.
Almost all cases so far are believed to have been caused by contact with skin during intimate contact or by sharing towels or bedding.
The network says the CDC also plans to investigate whether the monkey box is transmitted by semen, as most cases are sexually transmitted.
The affected patients ranged in age from 20 to 76 years, most of whom were men and a very small number were women.
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