US President Joe Biden’s administration announced on Thursday that the fight against monkeypox has been declared an emergency, which should free up finances, aid in data collection and allow for the deployment of additional personnel.
New York has the most cases in the US, accounting for almost one-quarter of the total, and experts have warned that if the outbreak is to be halted in its early stages, fast action is essential.
“We’re prepared to take our reaction to the next level in tackling this virus, and we urge every American to take monkeypox seriously and to take responsibility to help us battle this virus,” Health and Human Services secretary Xavier Becerra said in a phone call.
There is a belief among observers that the true number of cases may be far greater than official numbers indicate because symptoms of the current global outbreak include included indicators such as solitary lesions in addition to the more recognizable broad rashes.
As a result, instances may be ignored or misdiagnosed since the symptoms are similar to those of other common sexually transmitted illnesses.
A total of 600,000 JYNNEOS vaccinations have been distributed by the United States, but this is still far short of the estimated 1.6 million persons who are thought to be at greatest risk and hence most in need of the vaccine.
According to Dawn O’Connell, a senior HHS official, the country will only receive its next shipment of 150,000 JYNNEOS vaccines in September because to supply chain problems. The vaccine was developed with US federal support but is manufactured by a small Danish firm called Bavarian Nordic.
HHS reported last week that men who have sex with other men account for nearly all of the country’s cases, and it is this group that will be the focus of the country’s national vaccine campaign.
Instead of being transferred through sexual contact as it was in earlier outbreaks in Africa, the virus is now mostly disseminated through sexual activity. However, the CDC notes that other pathways such as sharing of bedding and clothing, as well as extended face-to-face contact, may also be feasible.
Officials are informing the MSM community about new symptoms and recommending that they limit their sexual relationships until they have been vaccinated.
Sexual or household contact has also afflicted a small but growing number of women and children.
No US deaths have been reported so far, and all patients have been able to return to their normal lives. In some cases, the intense pain has necessitated hospitalization for treatment.
Tecovirimat, or TPOXX as it is commonly called, is an antiviral medicine that has been administered to treat the disease in doses of 14,000 each. However, the treatment was originally created to fight smallpox and its usefulness against monkeypox is still unknown.
Because of the focus on MSMs, some people are worried about being stigmatized.
Professor Monica Gandhi wrote in Medscape that the focus on those who are most affected was a positive step forward.
According to her, “Just as with HIV and COVID, it is crucial to identify the demographic most at risk so that we can concentrate the targeted messaging and resources toward those groups.”
With just one shot, you can get five shots.
The World Health Organization also declared the epidemic an emergency last month, which is reserved for diseases of the highest concern. The United States has now followed suit.
This was also announced by Robert Califf, the head of the US Food and Drug Administration, on Thursday, who said his agency was exploring modifying the method the vaccine is given to enable for the vaccination of five times as many individuals with a single batch.
In the existing method, the vaccine is injected beneath the skin, while the new method would inject it into the skin at a shallower angle.
According to Califf in response to the fight against Monkeypox, this “means basically inserting a needle into the skin and creating a little pocket where the vaccine can be injected.”
He went on to say that before the new vaccine injection method could be approved, the United States would have to declare another form of emergency.