Washington – Monkeypox outbreak More than 6,600 people infected in the United States is a public health emergency, the Biden administration declared Thursday, a move that could ease funding and remodel the federal bureaucracy to tackle the once-rare disease.
The announcement came more than a week after the head of the World Health Organization called the “extraordinary” situation on 23 July It comes under the category of global emergency.
While the disease is mainly spreading among men who have sex with men, Former US Surgeon General Jerome Adams told USA TODAY on July 21 It is only a matter of time before the outbreak spreads more widely in the population.
Adams is among those who called on the Biden administration to take more aggressive action for the rapidly evolving situation.
- A milder cousin of smallpox, the disease was first detected in the United States in May. It is in more than 70 countries.
- According to the World Health Organization, monkeypox is spread from person to person, usually through close contact with respiratory secretions, infected skin sores or recently contaminated objects.
- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly all cases reported in the US have been through male-to-male sexual contact.
- Vaccines can be used to prevent monkeypox before and after it is spread, but not enough are available.
- By July 22, the Biden administration had shipped 300,000 doses of monkeypox vaccines nationwide.
The disease started spreading as the world was still battling the coronavirus pandemic. Unlike COVID-19, monkeypox is not a new disease and is not as contagious. But officials are running into some of the same issues they faced at the start of the pandemic in dealing with monkeypox.
For example, testing for monkeypox in the US was initially difficult because laboratories were not equipped for it.
According to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, identifying cases of monkeypox through testing and then contact-tracing is critical to prevent community spread. Declaring a global emergency, he said that vaccines are also an important strategy.
According to Ashish Jha, the administration’s COVID-19 response coordinator, testing has been made more widely available and hundreds of thousands of vaccines are being released.
Jha said the US has more doses of vaccine than any other country and may have more than all countries.
symptoms of monkeypox
Symptoms may begin to appear seven to 14 days after exposure and include fever, muscle aches, tiredness and a visible rash on the body. Although it can be fatal in areas with poor medical care, there have been no deaths in the US outbreak.
what are they saying
- “We don’t have the capacity that we need,” Adams told USA Today on July 21, “but we’re seeing that slowly starting to build up, and experts like me are calling the CDC and the federal government more To increase testing, to increase vaccines, and to increase communication about monkeypox.”
- “The response that is happening right now is accelerating,” Jha said on July 24.
- “I don’t know why there aren’t more vaccines available,” D-Calif. Representative Adam Schiff said on July 24. distribution, and those who are willing and willing and able to vaccinate, have the potential to protect themselves.”
- “While this outbreak is spreading in one particular social network right now, I think we have sent the message from the beginning that there may be cases that can happen outside of those networks and that we need to be alert and respond to that. You need to be prepared,” said Jennifer McQuiston, deputy director of the Department of High Outcome Pathogens and Pathology at CDC.
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Contributions: Rebecca Morin, Elizabeth Weiss.