More than 41,000 cases of monkeypox and 12 deaths have been reported from 96 countries, with the majority of cases from the United States, the World Health Organization said on Thursday.
Health officials in Europe are discussing whether to follow a move by the United States to stretch out scarce monkeypox vaccine supplies, with the World Health Organization calling for more data.
The United States declared monkeypox a public health emergency last week, an effort to bolster the U.S. response to contain the outbreak. The virus continues to be largely transmitted among gay and bisexual men, but experts say the disease could spill over into other populations, especially due to vaccine shortages.
The United States has declared a monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said Thursday, a move expected to free up additional funding and tools to fight the disease.
To deal with the rapidly rising monkeypox cases in the country, experts from United States health regulatory agencies have announced plans to conduct a clinical trial to more thoroughly assess the safety and efficacy of TPOXX (tecovirimat) as an antiviral in patients with monkeypox.
Monkeypox outbreaks in Africa are not concentrated among gay men, unlike in other parts of the world, experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Africa CDC said on Thursday.
President Joe Biden has appointed two top federal officials to coordinate his administration’s response to monkeypox, the White House said on Tuesday, as more states declared emergencies to help boost vaccines and other resources to combat the virus.
The World Health Organization declared monkeypox a global health emergency on July 23, prompting greater attention from regional officials. However, some doctors and activists in Latin America’s two largest countries told Reuters the response has been too tepid.
India confirmed its first monkeypox death on Monday, a young man in the southern state of Kerala, in what is only the fourth known fatality from the disease in the current outbreak.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Wednesday it plans to make the rapidly spreading monkeypox disease a nationally notifiable condition.