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No Fear No Favour

US declares public health emergency over monkeypox outbreak

By: Divya Thearia

Picture Credit: Internet

August 4, 2022 (New Delhi): The United States declared monkeypox a public health emergency on Thursday. This announcement will help to channelize federal funding and resources to combat this virus. According to AFP, Health and Human Services Secretary Javier Becerra said, “We are ready to take our response to this virus to the next level, we ask every American to take monkeypox seriously and do our best to combat this virus.”

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This announcement will be effective initially for 90 days but it can be extended further. On Thursday, 6,600 cases were reported nationwide, of which nearly a quarter were from New York state. Although experts believe that the actual number may be much higher in the current outbreak as symptoms can be subtle, including single lesions.

The announcement comes at a time when the Biden administration is facing criticism over the availability of the monkeypox vaccine. Clinics in large cities such as New York and San Francisco say they have not received enough doses of the two-dose vaccine to meet demand. Some even had to stop giving the second dose to ensure the supply of the first dose.

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The White House said it has provided more than 1.1 million doses of the vaccine and helped increase domestic diagnostic capacity to 80,000 tests per week. Monkeypox virus is spread by prolonged and close skin-to-skin contact, including hugging, hugging and kissing, as well as by sharing bed sheets , towels and clothing. So far the people who get sick have mainly been men who have sex with men. But health officials say that this virus can infect anyone.

Let us tell you that so far 9 patients of monkeypox have been found in India, out of which one patient has died. The central government on Thursday convened a meeting of top health experts to reconsider the existing guidelines to deal with cases of monkeypox. According to the ‘Guidelines on Management of Monkeypox Disease’ issued by the Centre, if a person has traveled to the affected countries within the last 21 days and has developed red rash, swollen lymph glands, fever, headache, on body. If symptoms such as pain and extreme weakness are seen in the patient then it will be considered ‘suspect’.

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The guidelines define the people who have come in contact, saying that if a person comes in contact with an infected more than once during the period till the first symptoms appear and the crust on the skin falls off. The person who came in will be considered. This contact can be through face-to-face, direct physical contact, including having sex, contact with his clothing or bedding. This would be considered a suspected or confirmed case of monkeypox.

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