The Biden administration has declared monkeypox a public health emergency as infectious disease cases continue to soar across the United States.
The decision, announced Thursday afternoon by Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, called on every American to take the virus seriously to help contain the outbreak, Reuters report.
“As we prepare to take our response to the next level in dealing with this virus, we urge every American to take monkeypox seriously,” Mr. Becerra said in a call to reporters.
The move will strengthen the federal government’s response to the growing outbreak, freeing up money for vaccines and treatments.
It will also allow the hiring of more workers to manage the outbreak and follow state-level public emergency declarations in New York, Illinois and California.
The latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows 6,617 cases recorded in 48 statesas of Wednesday.
The Biden administration has faced criticism for being too slow to roll out vaccines and treatments after the first case was detected in the United States on May 18.
Demand for vaccines far outstrips supply in major centers such as New York City, San Francisco and Chicago, where the majority of positive cases have been recorded.
White House said in a statement on Tuesday It has delivered more than 1.1 million doses of the vaccine and expanded testing capacity to more than 80,000 tests per week.
President Joe Biden appointment Two officials led the federal government’s response.
Robert Fenton, who helped lead FEMA’s Covid-19 vaccination efforts, was named White House coordinator.
Demetre Daskalakis of the CDC is his deputy.
politics A memo from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services calling for a declaration of an emergency has broad support from all U.S. health agencies, the report said.
The White House is expected to make an official announcement on Thursday.
In July, the World Health Organization declared monkeypox a global public health emergency.
The current outbreak originated in Europe and spread through skin-to-skin contact, mainly affecting gay and bisexual men.
Symptoms include fever, headache and muscle aches, as well as swollen lymph nodes.
Although it is rarely fatal, deaths have been recorded in Spain, Brazil and India in the past two weeks.