America has declared the monkeypox outbreak a public well being disaster

August 4 (Reuters) – The United States has declared monkeypox a public health emergency, the health secretary said on Thursday, which is expected to free up additional funds and resources to fight the disease.

On Wednesday, the U.S. toll topped 6,600, almost all among men who have sex with men.

“We are ready to take our response to the next level in the fight against this virus, and we urge every American to take monkeypox seriously,” Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said at the briefing.

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The declaration will improve the availability of data on monkeypox infections needed for the response, said Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, speaking with Bacerra.

The US government has come under pressure to deal with the outbreak.

The disease began spreading in Europe before moving to the United States, which currently has the highest number of cases in the world. Vaccines and treatments were in short supply, and the disease was often left to historically underfunded sexual health clinics. read more

The World Health Organization has declared monkeypox a “public health emergency of international concern” – the highest level of threat. The WHO declaration last month sought to encourage a coordinated international response and free up funding for vaccine and treatment cooperation. read more

Governments are introducing vaccines and treatments that were originally approved for smallpox but also work against monkeypox.

The US government distributed 600,000 doses of Bavarian Nordics (BAVA.CO) Jynneos vaccine and 14,000 deployments Siga Technologies (FOLLOW HIM) TPOXX treatment, officials said, though they did not disclose how many were administered.

Walensky said the government is aiming to vaccinate more than 1.6 million people. high risk individuals.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Robert Califf said the agency is considering freeing up more doses of the Jynnea vaccine by allowing doctors to draw 5 doses of the vaccine from each vial, instead of the current 1 dose, using a different subcutaneous injection method.

US President Joe Biden this month appointed two federal officials to coordinate his administration’s response to monkeypox after states of emergency were declared in California, Illinois and New York. read more

For the first time in 1958 The disease in monkeys has mild symptoms, including fever, aches and pus-filled skin lesions, and people tend to recover within two to four weeks, the WHO said. It is spread through close physical contact and is rarely fatal.

Anthony Fauci, Biden’s top medical adviser, told Reuters on Thursday that engaging gay community leaders was critical to contain the outbreak, but warned against stigmatizing the lifestyle.

“Community engagement has always been successful,” Fauci said.

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Reporting by Manas Mishra and Amruta Khandekar in Bengaluru, Ismail Shakil in Ottawa, Caroline Humer and Leela de Kretser Editing by Anil D’Silva, Deepa Babington and Howard Goller

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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