US declares monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency

The Biden administration now classifies the monkeypox outbreak as a public health emergency, as more than 6,600 cases have been confirmed in the United States.

The United States has declared a public health emergency for the monkeypox outbreak to raise awareness about the disease and speed up the prescription of treatments, it was reported on Thursday.

“We are ready to take our response to the virus to the next level and call on all Americans to take monkeypox seriously and do what is necessary to help us fight the virus,” the Secretary of State said. Health Xavier Becerra.

The declaration, effective for 90 days and which can be renewed, comes as the number of recalled cases in the United States exceeded 6,600 on Thursday, including about a quarter in New York state alone.

1.6 million paralyzed people at high risk

Experts fear that the real figure is much higher, however, due to sometimes very discreet symptoms, including simple lesions.

The federal state provided around 600,000 doses of the vaccine, marketed as Jynneos in North America, Imvanex in Europe and originally developed for smallpox.

But that number remains a far cry from the roughly 1.6 million high-risk infected people in the country.

The Department of Health said last week that 99% of cases in the United States involved men who have sex with men. This population is the priority target for vaccination.

Several routes of transmission

Unlike previous waves in Africa, this new outbreak of monkeypox is mainly transmitted through sexual intercourse, but the US health authorities (CDC) indicate that other routes are possible, including through bed sharing, habits and prolonged face-to-face contact.

The World Health Organization (WHO) issued its highest level of alert at the end of July in order to strengthen the fight against monkeypox.

On Thursday, the American drug agency, the FDA, for its part said it was studying the possibility of authorizing caregivers to administer five doses of vaccine from a single one by modifying the way in which it is absorbed.

The first symptoms of monkeypox are a high fever, swollen lymph nodes, and a chickenpox-like rash.

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