Experts are concerned that the United States may not be able to stem the epidemic of this deadly disease.
California, Illinois and Texas declared emergency Monday over monkeypox infection. This comes as many countries experience their first cases of the disease.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported more than 5,800 cases as confirmed and probable in the US. California has reported more than 800, while Illinois added 500.
The US Federal Government has so far refused to declare a national public health emergency, even though the World Health Organization had declared the worldwide monkeypox epidemic a public health emergency.
According to California’s declaration on Tuesday, emergency medical services will be allowed to administer federally approved monkeypox vaccines to a larger pool of residents.
“California is working urgently across all levels of government to slow the spread of monkeypox, leveraging our robust testing, contact tracing and community partnerships strengthened during the pandemic to ensure that those most at risk are our focus for vaccines, treatment and outreach,”Official proclamation by Governor Gavin Newsom
The CDC states that monkeypox can be a cousin of smallpox. It causes skin blisters and may cause respiratory problems like fever, headaches, and other symptoms.
A typical illness lasts two to four weeks. The severity of the disease can vary from mild to grave, and sometimes even be fatal. Spain and India were among the countries that reported their first deaths from monkeypox.
Infected people spread the disease through skin-to-skin contact, bodily fluids and close personal contact. It can also be spread to animals and humans. Gay and bisexual men have been stigmatized because of disproprortionate infection rates – but health officials around the world have stressed the disease can affect anyone and is not a sexually transmitted disease.
In the wake of what some experts believe could be an endemic, vaccine shortages are occurring in the US. In late July, the MIT Technology Review found monkeypox in wastewater in California’s San Francisco bay area, indicating that the infection is more widespread in the community than officially reported. Similar results were also found in other metropolitan areas throughout the United States.
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WHO reports that the WHO has identified the first monkeypox case in humans in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as a child aged seven years old in 1970. This virus is highly prevalent in Central Africa and Western Africa. They are two separate clades. The West Africa clade is thought to cause less severe diseases than the Central Africa clade, which is endemic in the Congo Basin.
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