• By Joel Streed

Monkeypox has been declared a public health emergency in the US: What’s that mean?

August 5, 2022
a microscopic view of the monkeypox virus

The Biden administration has declared monkeypox a public health emergency. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there have been over 6,600 confirmed monkeypox cases in the U.S., with all but two states, Montana and Wyoming, reporting at least one.

Dr. Richard Kennedy, co-director of Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group, explains what the declaration means. "The declaration allows more flexibility to the United States Department of Health and Human Services and the Food and Drug Administration to use emergency use authorizations, or EAUs."

This could allow for expanded use of both vaccines and antiviral treatments.

"The declaration frees up emergency funding and supplies that can be rolled out to impacted areas. It also gives the government flexibility in directing funding and/or manpower towards vaccine and drug development, testing or other activities," adds Dr. Kennedy.

Globally, the CDC reports more than 26,000 monkeypox cases in 88 countries, including 81 that have not historically reported monkeypox.