The United States on Thursday declared monkeypox a public health emergency, a move that should free up new funding, aid in data collection and allow the deployment of additional personnel in the fight against the disease.
Health and Human Services Secretary Javier Becerra said in a call, “We are ready to take our response to addressing this virus to the next level, and we urge every American to take monkeypox seriously and combat this virus.” I urge you to take the responsibility of helping us.” ,
The announcement, which is initially in effect for 90 days but could be renewed, on Thursday reported 6,600 cases nationwide, nearly a quarter of them from New York state.
Experts believe the actual number may be much higher in the current outbreak because symptoms can be subtle, including single lesions.
The US has so far distributed about 600,000 JYNNEOS vaccines – originally developed against smallpox, a virus related to monkeypox – but that number figure is still thought to be around 1.6 million people considered most at risk and most in need of the vaccine. Is.
The Department of Health and Human Services said last week that some 99 percent of U.S. cases still have sex with men, and that population officials are targeting a national vaccination strategy.
Unlike previous outbreaks in Africa, the virus is now mainly spread through sexual activity – but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says other routes, including sharing bedding, clothing and prolonged face-to-face contact are also possible.
The US announcement comes after the World Health Organization designated the outbreak as an emergency last month – something that is reserved for diseases of highest concern.
Also on Thursday, US Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Robert Califf said his agency was considering a move that would allow physicians to deliver five doses of the vaccine based on a single dose of existing vials.
The vaccine is currently administered subcutaneously, but the new approach would involve administering it intramuscularly at a more shallow angle.
“It basically means sticking the needle within the skin and creating a little pocket there into which the vaccine goes, so it’s really nothing unusual,” Califf said.
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