The Government of USA declared this Thursday a national health emergency for the outbreak of monkey pox that the country lives, 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”explained this Thursday the secretary of Health of the USA, Xavier Becerra, in a call with journalists.
The declaration will allow national agencies access emergency funds and will facilitate the management of vaccines and treatments for the disease. It will also boost the awareness raising and information that, according to the authorities, are essential to contain the infections, which are advancing rapidly in the country.
“We encourage all Americans toand take monkeypox seriously and that they 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 monkeypox spread response groupafter being criticized for its slowness in buying vaccines and treatments.
In fact, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Robert Califf announced that his office has identified a possible solution to alleviate the lack of sufficient vaccineswhile the authorities are made with new doses.
Said solution would consist of administering intradermally one fifth of the dose contained in a vial of the vaccine.
That would allow the health use a single vial to deliver five doses “without compromising its efficacy and safety,” Califf said.
Last week, health authorities announced that more than a million vaccines against the disease would be made available to states in the coming days, of which 600,000 have already been deliveredBecerra announced today. They also expect to receive another 150,000 doses in September, and additional vaccines in October and November.
The country currently registers more than 6,500 monkeypox infectionsa figure much higher than the 4,600 registered last week.
The declaration of national emergency It will also force states to share health information about monkeypox 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) It already decreed 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 objective of the vaccination campaign are, on the one hand, the men who have sex with other men and that they have the virus HIV and, on the other hand, men with a higher risk of contracting AIDS.
“Putting those two populations together, we estimate there are between 1.6 and 1.7 billion people at the highest risk level for monkeypox 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 other menalthough the disease can be transmitted to anyone.
The US health authorities have warned that it is likely that monkeypox infections will 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.