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US declares monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency

The Biden administration now classifies the monkeypox outbreak as a public health emergency, as more than 6,600 cases have been confirmed in the United States.

The United States has declared a public health emergency for the monkeypox outbreak to raise awareness about the disease and speed up the prescription of treatments, we learned on Thursday.

“We are ready to take our response to the virus to the next level and call on all Americans to take monkeypox seriously and do what is necessary to help us fight the virus,” the Secretary of State said. Health Xavier Becerra.

The declaration, in effect for 90 days and which can be renewed, comes at a time when the number of cases recorded in the United States exceeded 6,600 on Thursday, including around a quarter in New York State alone.

1.6 million people considered high risk

Experts fear that the real figure is much higher, however, due to sometimes very discreet symptoms, including simple lesions.

The federal state provided around 600,000 doses of the vaccine, marketed under the name of Jynneos in North America, Imvanex in Europe and initially developed for smallpox.

But that number is still a far cry from the roughly 1.6 million people considered to be at high risk in the country.

The Department of Health said last week that 99% of the cases recorded in the United States concern men who have sex with men. This population is the priority target for vaccination.

Several routes of transmission

Unlike previous waves in Africa, this new epidemic of monkeypox is transmitted mainly through sexual contact, but the American health authorities (CDC) indicate that other routes are possible, in particular by sharing a bed, clothes and prolonged face-to-face contact.

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The World Health Organization (WHO) had triggered its highest level of alert at the end of July in order to strengthen the fight against monkeypox.

On Thursday, the American drug agency, the FDA, for its part said it was studying the possibility of authorizing caregivers to administer five doses of vaccine from a single one by modifying the way in which it is injected.

The first symptoms of monkeypox are a high fever, swollen lymph nodes, and a chickenpox-like rash.

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