The United States will declare a public health emergency to bolster the federal response to the monkeypox outbreak that has already infected more than 6,600 Americans, two people familiar with the matter said.
The announcement will free up federal funds and resources to fight the virus, which can cause fever, body aches, chills, fatigue and pimple-like bumps on many parts of the body. The people spoke on condition of anonymity before the announcement.
The statement comes as the Biden administration has faced criticism over the pace of availability of the monkeypox vaccine.
Clinics in major cities like New York and San Francisco say they have not received enough two-shot vaccine to meet demand and some have had to stop offering the second dose of the vaccine to ensure supply for people. first doses.
The White House said it has made more than 1.1 million doses of the vaccine available and helped boost national diagnostic capacity to 80,000 tests per week.
The monkeypox virus is spread through prolonged and close skin-to-skin contact, including hugs, hugs, and kisses, as well as sharing bedding, towels, and clothing.
Until now, the people who got sick were mainly men who have sex with men. But health officials point out 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 White House coordinators for the fight. against the monkeypox epidemic.
News of the expected statement was first reported Thursday by Politico.