Health
US to declare monkeypox a public health emergency, sources tell AP

US to declare monkeypox a public health emergency, sources tell AP

The US will declare a public health emergency to bolster the federal response to the outbreak of monkeypox that already has infected more than 6,600 Americans, two people familiar with the matter said.

The announcement will free up federal funding and resources to fight the virus, which may cause fever, body aches, chills, fatigue and pimple-like bumps on many parts of the body. The people spoke on the condition of anonymity ahead of the announcement.

The declaration comes as the Biden administration has faced criticism over the pace of vaccine availability for monkeypox.

Clinics in major cities like New York and San Francisco say they haven’t received enough of the two-shot vaccine to meet demand and some have had to stop offering the second dose of the vaccine to ensure supply of first doses.

The White House said it has made more than 1.1 million doses of vaccine available and has helped to boost domestic diagnostic capacity to 80,000 tests per week.

WATCH | This American came to Canada for the monkeypox vaccine:

To get the monkeypox vaccine, this American came to Canada

Seattle, Wash., resident Justin Moore trucked across the border at British Columbia, along with several friends, to get vaccinated for monkeypox, something he says he couldn’t get at home. He described the Canadian experience as ‘uplifting.’

The monkeypox virus spreads through prolonged and close skin-to-skin contact, including hugging, cuddling and kissing, as well as sharing bedding, towels and clothing.

People getting sick so far have been primarily men who have sex with men. But health officials emphasize that the virus can infect anyone.

The announcement comes three days after the Biden administration named top officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to serve as the White House co-ordinators to combat the monkeypox outbreak.

News of the expected declaration was first reported Thursday by Politico.

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