Monkeypox: US declares outbreak a public health emergency


The United States of America (USA) declared monkeypox outbreak as public health emergency on Thursday. The country has so far reported more infections from the virus than other country in the world.

Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra announced it at a briefing with the top public health officials.

He said, “We’re prepared to take our response to the next level in addressing this virus we urge every American to take monkeypox seriously, and to take responsibility to help us tackle this virus.”

Robert Fenton, the newly appointed White House national monkeypox response coordinator in the briefing said, “This public health emergency will allow us to explore additional strategies to get vaccines and treatments more quickly out to the impacted communities. And it will allow us to get more data from jurisdictions so we can effectively track and attack this outbreak.”

President Joe Biden faced pressure from health experts and activists to take adequate measures to combat monkeypox outbreak as it has infected more than 6,600 people in the United States.

Health Law Expert Lawrence O Gostin called the public health emergency declaration as “a pivotal turning point in the monkeypox response, after a lackluster start.”

Officials said the declaration may allow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to deploy more staffs to respond to the outbreak and along with that to share more data to track the monkeypox patients. It will also help to scale up vaccinations.

The administration said it has distributed 266,000 doses of Jynneos monkeypox vaccine to states and territories since last week.

Earlier, in July, World Health Organisation (WHO) declared monkeypox as “public health emergency of international concern”