The United States declared monkeypox a public health emergency on Thursday. This announcement will help to channelize federal funding and resources to combat this virus.
According to AFP, Health and Human Services Secretary Javier Becerra said, “We are ready to take our response to this virus to the next level, we ask every American to take monkeypox seriously and do our best to combat this virus.”
This announcement will be effective initially for 90 days but it can be extended further. On Thursday, 6,600 cases were reported nationwide, of which nearly a quarter were from New York state. Although experts believe that the actual number may be much higher in the current outbreak as symptoms can be subtle, including single lesions.
The announcement comes at a time when the Biden administration is facing criticism over the availability of the monkeypox vaccine. Clinics in large cities such as New York and San Francisco say they have not received enough doses of the two-dose vaccine to meet demand. Some even had to stop giving the second dose to ensure the supply of the first dose.
The White House said it has provided more than 1.1 million doses of the vaccine and helped increase domestic diagnostic capacity to 80,000 tests per week.
Monkeypox virus is spread by prolonged and close skin-to-skin contact, including hugging and kissing, as well as by sharing bedding, towels and clothing.
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