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Biden administration poised to declare monkeypox a public health emergency | Monkeypox

The Biden administration plans to declare the US monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency as soon as Thursday, the Washington Post reported, citing unidentified sources.

The declaration would come from Xavier Becerra, the health secretary, who was expected to discuss the plan at an afternoon briefing, the Post said.

Citing two unnamed officials, the newspaper said Becerra planned to empower US officials to expedite countermeasures including vaccines and treatments, allowing for greater flexibility in the administering the supply of vaccines.

Access to vaccines has been a consistent problem as the number of US monkeypox cases has risen. States and cities including New York and San Francisco have issued declarations of emergency.

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared monkeypox a global health emergency on 23 July.

Later that month the WHO director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, advised men at risk of catching monkeypox to consider reducing how many sexual partners they have “for the moment”.

Tedros said 98% of monkeypox cases detected since May had been among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men. He called for those at risk to take steps to protect themselves.

“That means making safe choices for yourself and others, for men who have sex with men,” Tedros said.

“This includes, for the moment, reducing your number of sexual partners.”

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