Connect with us

Agnes Isika Blog

MonkeyPox: US Declares Public Health Emergency Over Monkeypox Outbreak

News

MonkeyPox: US Declares Public Health Emergency Over Monkeypox Outbreak

United states health sector has declared a public health emergency to reinforce the response to the monkeypox outbreak that has infected more than 6,600 Americans.

Monkeypox is a virus that is similar to smallpox. Those who catch the virus usually experience fever-like symptoms, followed by red lesions on the body, which can raise and develop pus. In the current outbreak, the infection is spreading primarily among gay and bis*xual men, as well as men who have s*x with men.

Scotland Records First Case Of Monkeypox

According to the head of the Department of Health and Human Services; Xavier Becerra, there are between 1.6 and 1.7 million Americans in this high-risk group, Becerra said during a press briefing.

“We are prepared to take our responsibility to the next level in addressing this virus, and we urge every American to take monkeypox seriously,” said Becerra.

The declaration by HHS comes as the Biden administration has faced criticism over monkeypox vaccine availability. Clinics in major cities such as New York and San Francisco say they have not received enough of the two-shot vaccine to meet demand, and some have had to stop offering the second dose to ensure the supply of first doses.

The White House said it has made more than 1.1 million doses available and has helped to boost domestic diagnostic capacity to 80,000 tests per week.

The monkeypox virus spreads through prolonged skin-to-skin contact, including hugging, cuddling, and kissing, as well as sharing bedding, towels, and clothing.

The people who have gotten sick so far have been primarily men who have s*x with men. But health officials emphasize that the virus can infect anyone.

Earlier this week, the Biden administration named top officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention to serve as the White House coordinators to combat monkeypox.

Thursday’s declaration is an important — and overdue — step, said Lawrence Gostin, a public health law expert at Georgetown University.

“It signals the US government’s seriousness and purpose, and sounds a global alarm,” he said.

Under the declaration, HHS can draw from emergency funds, hire or reassign staff to deal with the outbreak, and take other steps to control the virus.

For example, the announcement should help the federal government to seek more information from state and local health officials about who is becoming infected and who is being vaccinated.

That information can be used to better understand how the outbreak is unfolding and how well the vaccine works. Mr. Gostin said the US government has been too cautious and should have declared a national emergency earlier.

Public health measures to control outbreaks have increasingly faced legal challenges in recent years, but Mr. Gostin did not expect that to happen with monkeypox.

“It is a textbook case of a public health emergency,” Mr. Gostin said. “It’s not a red or a blue state issue. There is no political opposition to fighting monkeypox.”

A public health emergency can be extended, similar to what happened during the Covid-19 pandemic, he noted.

The urgency in the current response stems from the rapid spread of the virus coupled with the limited availability of the two-dose vaccine called Jynneos, which is considered the main medical weapon against the disease.

The doses, given 28 days apart, are currently being given to people soon after they think they were exposed, as a measure to prevent symptoms.

Continue Reading
You may also like...
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

16 − 8 =

More in News

TrueTalk with Agnes

Today's Quote

The secret of getting ahead is getting started.

Trending

Contributors

LAGOS WEATHER
To Top