As concerns around the rise of monkeypox continue, the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) has declared that the disease is an “imminent threat to public health,” WKBW reports.

Per the declaration, local health departments are allowed to access additional state reimbursement once additional federal and state funding sources have been exhausted to prevent the spread of monkeypox.

“Anyone can get monkeypox, which is primarily spread through close, physical contact between people, said the NYSDOH in a statement. “The current global outbreak looks to be driven by exposure related to intimate, sexual contact. Certain populations currently are more affected than others, including men who have sex with men. Previous outbreak experience elsewhere suggests that elderly, those with weakened immune systems, pregnant people, and children under 8 years of age may be at heightened risk for severe outcomes.”

Reports reveal that the state of New York currently has 1,341 monkeypox cases with the majority of the outbreaks falling within the NYC area.

The New York State Commissioner also released a statement with a plan of action for preventing more monkeypox outbreaks across the state.

“This declaration means that local health departments engaged in response and prevention activities will be able to access additional state reimbursement, after other federal and state funding sources are maximized, to protect all New Yorkers and ultimately limit the spread of monkeypox in our communities,” said New York State Commissioner of Health Dr. Mary T. Bassett in the official release.

The declaration will cover monkeypox prevention response and activities dating back to June 1 and up through December 31, 2022.

According to Dr. Bruce Hirsch of Northwell Health, the cases that he has seen are already “at the tip of an iceberg.” In addition to that, he reported that 110,000 doses of vaccines are being rolled out in New York to prevent the spread of the “rare disease.”