4 Aug 2022 22:19 GMT
Although monkeypox has so far primarily affected gay men, the White House said “all Americans” should take it seriously.
The US government declared a national health emergency due to the monkeypox outbreak, at a time when the number of infections exceeds 6,600 in that country.
“It’s official: the public health emergency for the ‘monkeypox’ has just been decreed”, wrote the Secretary of Health, Xavier Becerra, on his Twitter account.
A few hours earlier, the senior official announced at a press conference that the White House urges “all Americans to take monkeypox seriously.” By declaring the emergency, the Biden administration will be able to access increased funding to respond to the virus.
Late last month, the World Health Organization declared monkeypox a “public health emergency of international concern,” a designation that is one level below the pandemic status assigned to covid-19. In the US, the states of California, New York and Illinois have already declared an emergency over the outbreak.
Most of the monkeypox cases reported in the United States since May have been among gay men. Although it is still unclear whether the virus is transmitted sexually or through other forms of prolonged contact involving intercourse, WHO director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated last month that men “with multiple sexual partners” of the same sex are especially exposed.
More information, soon.