United States declares monkeypox as a national health emergency

by Spencer Jenkins

The United States declared a public health emergency for monkeypox today to quicken the federal response and increase vaccine availability. Monkeypox has infected more than 6,600 Americans thus far with Kentucky having eight confirmed cases. Nearly all cases are among men who have sex with men.

“We are prepared to take our response to the next level in addressing this virus, and we urge every American to take monkeypox seriously and to take responsibility to help us tackle this virus,” Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said during a White House press briefing.

This declaration came after the Biden administration fell under intense scrutiny in not acting quickly enough to contain monkeypox. New York, the epicenter of the outbreak, Illinois and California declared public health emergencies earlier this week. The World Health Organization declared a global health emergency over the outbreak on July 23.

Currently in most regions of Kentucky, people can reach out to their public health departments and sign up for an appointment to receive their first dose of a vaccine. However, in Jefferson County (Louisville), you must have a primary care physician (PCP) and your PCP must have a large amount of high-risk patients.

To learn more about the vaccine in Kentucky, refer back to this article.

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