USA – The Biden administration has declared a public health emergency for the monkeypox outbreak in the United States even as infections exceed those of any other country in the world.
The announcement has been made by Health and Human Services Secretary, Xavier Becerra at a briefing with top public health officials.
President Biden has appointed representatives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to lead the nation’s response to monkeypox from the White House.
At the briefing, the newly appointed White House national monkeypox response coordinator, Robert Fenton said that this public health emergency will allow the country to explore additional strategies to get vaccines.
He also added that this will enable the treatments dispatched more quickly to the impacted communities and allow get more data from jurisdictions to effectively track and attack the outbreak.
More than 6,600 confirmed cases of monkeypox have been found in the US since the first case was discovered in mid-May.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has already declared the monkeypox outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern and there are currently more than 26,000 cases worldwide.
WHO refers to a public health emergency of international concern, (PHEIC) as an extraordinary incident that poses a public health risk to other States through the international transmission of illness.
WHO adds that a PHEIC may potentially necessitate a coordinated worldwide response.
While anyone can contract monkeypox, the majority of cases in the US outbreak have been men who have intercourse with other men, including gay and bisexual men and individuals who identify as transgender.
The monkeypox virus can only be transmitted through close contact with an infected person, according to specialists.
The government claims to have given out an additional 266,000 doses of the Jynneos monkeypox vaccine to states and territories that have placed orders.
The manufacturer of the vaccine, Bavarian Nordic, has shifted the delivery of an additional 150,000 doses from October to September.
In addition to providing vaccines, the CDC has said since June it has made a concerted effort to do extensive education and outreach to the LGBTQ community.
In response to the monkeypox outbreak, governors in California, New York, and Illinois have declared states of emergency. Some cities, including New York City and San Francisco, have also declared states of emergency.
Liked this article? Sign up to receive our regular email newsletters, focused on Africa and World’s healthcare industry, directly into your inbox. SUBSCRIBE HERE