US in state of emergency for monkeypox

The Government of the United States declared this Thursday a national health emergency due to the outbreak of monkeypox in the country, in which thousands of infections have already been registered, although, for the moment, no deaths.

“We are prepared to take our response to the next level,” US Secretary of Health Xavier Becerra explained Thursday in a call with reporters.

The declaration will allow national agencies to access emergency funds and will facilitate the management of vaccines and treatments for the disease.

It will also promote awareness and information efforts that, according to the authorities, are essential to contain the infections, which are advancing rapidly in the country.

“We encourage all Americans to take monkeypox seriously and take responsibility to help us deal with this virus,” added the Secretary of Health.

Earlier this week, the White House announced the creation of a response group for the spread of the monkey poxafter being criticized for its slowness in buying vaccines and treatments.

In fact, the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Robert Califf, announced that his office has identified a possible solution to alleviate the lack of sufficient vaccines, while the authorities obtain new doses.

Said solution would consist of administering intradermally one fifth of the dose contained in a vial of the vaccine.

That would allow health workers to use a single vial to deliver five doses “without compromising its efficacy and safety,” Califf said.

Last week, the health authorities announced that more than a million vaccines against the disease would be made available to the states in the coming days, of which 600,000 have already been delivered, Becerra announced today.

In addition, they expect to receive another 150,000 doses in September, and additional vaccines in October and November.

The country currently registers more than 6,500 infections of monkey poxa figure much higher than the 4,600 registered last week.

The national emergency declaration will also force states to share health information about the monkey pox with federal authorities, which will speed up the response to the emergency, explained the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Rochelle Walensky.

The World Health Organization (WHO) already declared an international health emergency due to the outbreak two weeks ago, after more than 16,000 cases have been detected in 75 countries, many of them European, and several deaths.

Walensky explained that the populations at greatest risk and the main target of the vaccination campaign are, on the one hand, men who have sexual relations with other men and who have the HIV virus and, on the other, men with a higher risk of contracting AIDS.

“Putting those two populations together, we estimate that there are between 1.6 and 1.7 billion people at the highest level of risk from monkey pox right now,” he said.

To date, the vast majority of cases detected in the United States, as well as in other countries, occur in men who have had sex with men, although the disease can be transmitted to anyone.

The American health authorities have warned that it is most likely that the infections of monkey pox increase in the coming days, so it is important that people are alert and health centers know that they have sufficient reserves, both of vaccines and treatments, to keep the outbreak at bay.

Reliable, trustworthy and easy. Multimedia news agency in Spanish.

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