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Monkeypox has been declared a public health emergency in the United States

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Monkeypox has been declared a public health emergency in the United States

The Biden Administration has officially declared monkeypox a public health emergency, after recording more than 6,000 cases. 

Health and Human Services secretary Xavier Becerra announced the emergency declaration in order to free up medical funds and tools to help combat the disease, according to Reuters.

"We're prepared to take our response to the next level in addressing this virus, and we urge every American to take monkeypox seriously and to take responsibility to help us tackle this virus," he said in a call.

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He also revealed that the US has the capacity to conduct 60,000-80,000 tests for monkeypox every week, versus when the virus began when they could only conduct 6,000 tests.

According to The World Health Organization website, monkeypox is a mild form of smallpox that elicits excruciating, ugly blisters and rashes over the body.

Credit: Alamy Stock Photo
Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

The viral disease is highly infectious and spreads through body fluids or close face-to-face contact in breath droplets.

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The WHO also revealed the world had seen 18.7 per cent jump in cases in the past week.

The US saw the most significant increase, with primarily gay men falling victim to the disease.

However, after a pediatric resident of Long Beach, California, tested positive, the city issued a press release, warning everyone to be vigilant.

It read: “This is a reminder that everyone, regardless of age or sexual orientation, can get monkeypox if they come into contact with the virus. 

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"This is a reminder that everyone, regardless of age or sexual orientation, can get monkeypox if they come into contact with the virus.”

Credit: Alamy Stock Photo
Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

Last month, the US identified monkeypox in children and infants for the first time ever.

The Guardian reports that the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the cases were likely from household transmissions. They confirmed both of the children being treated were in good health.

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Two weeks ago, WHO declared monkeypox as a global health emergency in a press release, with WHO’s director general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, warning there are more than 16,000 cases in 75 countries.

“In short, we have an outbreak that has spread around the world rapidly through new modes of transmission about which we understand too little and which meets the criteria in the international health regulations,” he said. 

“For all of these reasons I have decided that the global monkeypox outbreak represents a global health emergency of international concern.”

Featured Image Credit: Alamy Stock Photo.

Topics: News, US News, Health

Charisa Bossinakis
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