The US government has declared the monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency following a spike in cases.
The decision taken by the government will speed up the distribution of vaccines, treatments, and federal resources to resist the spread of the virus. The declaration comes less than a fortnight after the World Health Organization (WHO) issued its highest emergency alert following a worldwide surge in cases. Health officers say the monkeypox cases have topped 6,600 in the US.
New York has a quarter of the total number of cases in the US and declared its own state of emergency last week. The other two states which have the following highest cases are California and Illinois. According to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 26,000 cases have been confirmed worldwide this year.
The virus typically induces pimple-like rashes, which can be extremely painful and itchy, to develop and spread across the body and other complications. Infections are usually mild and clear up independently in adult patients without treatment or hospitalization. But young children have died at higher rates from the disease, warned WHO. Officials in the US and elsewhere have recommended people at the highest risk of exposure - including some bisexual and gay men and some healthcare workers. They should get the jab on a priority basis.