Officially, some 6,600 Americans have contracted monkeypox, but experts fear the actual number of cases is much higher.
The United States declared a public health emergency for the monkeypox epidemic, a decision that should free up funds, facilitate data collection and deploy more personnel to fight the disease.
With more than 6,600 cases in the country, around a quarter of them in New York State alone, action needed to be taken quickly to control the outbreak until it spreads further. , had estimated experts.
“We are ready to step up our response to the virus and we call on all Americans to take monkeypox seriously and do what is necessary to help us fight the virus.
— Xavier Becerra, US Secretary of Health
Thursday's declaration is in effect for 90 days and can be renewed.
Experts fear that the actual number of cases is much higher due to sometimes very subtle symptoms, including simple lesions that can be seen as similar to those of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), a category in which, however, monkeypox does not fit.
To combat this epidemic, the Federal State provided approximately 600,000 doses of the vaccine manufactured by the Danish Bavarian Nordic and marketed as Jynneos in North America, Imvanex in Europe and originally developed for smallpox. .
But that number remains a far cry from the roughly 1.6 million people considered to be at high risk in the country, and the next shipment (150,000 doses) will not arrive. in the United States until September due to logistical issues, a Department of Health official said.
The Department of Health said last week that 99% of cases in the United States were in men who have sex with men. This population is, despite the risk of stigmatization, the priority target for vaccination.
They are also a priority for preventive actions organized by the authorities, which aim in particular to establish a better knowledge of symptoms and to suggest a reduction in the number of sexual partners between now and vaccination.
About 14,000 doses of an antiviral initially developed against smallpox, tecovirimat, have been delivered, although its effectiveness on monkeypox is currently poorly known.< /p>
Unlike previous waves in Africa, this new outbreak of monkeypox is primarily transmitted through sex, but US health authorities (CDC) say other routes are possible, including sharing sex. x27;a bed, clothes and prolonged face-to-face contact.
A small but growing number of women and children have been affected by the disease .
There have been no reported deaths from the disease so far in the United States, but some patients have required hospitalization to deal with intense pain.
The World Health Organization (WHO) had triggered its highest level of alert at the end of July in order to reinforce the fight against monkeypox.
On Thursday, the American Medicines Agency, the FDA, for its part said it was studying the possibility of authorizing caregivers to administer five doses of vaccine from just one by changing the way it is injected.
The first symptoms of monkeypox are high fever, swollen lymph nodes and chickenpox-like rash.