The monkey pox outbreak is a public health emergency in the United States, Xavier Becerra, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, said today. The disease is spreading in the US since mayand cases have risen around the world.
“We urge every American to take monkeypox seriously,” he said in a news conference today.
The decision to declare a public health emergency follows the World Health Organization’s declaration in late July that monkeypox is a public health emergency of international concern. A number of states, including New York and California, have also declared health emergencies.
Monkeypox causes rashes and lesions along with symptoms such as fever and swollen lymph nodes. It does not spread as easily as COVID-19, and so far experts believe it is mainly transmitted through close personal contact. Most cases have occurred in men who have sex with men, although people outside that group have also tested positive for the infection.
so far, more than 6,600 people have tested positive for monkey pox in the US. Testing is still hard to access, so that’s probably an undercount. The US also still has a public health emergency due to COVID-19.