Xavier Becerra, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary, on Wednesday renewed the national public health emergency for the monkeypox outbreak, citing "continued consequences of an outbreak" of cases across multiple states, reports The Hill.
The U.S. declared monkeypox a public health emergency in August, triggering grant funding and more resources for various aspects of a federal response. Public health emergencies end after 90 days unless renewed.
More than 28,000 people in the U.S. have been infected with monkeypox, mostly in California, Florida, Texas, and New York. More than 77,000 cases have been reported worldwide.
Data published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report in mid-August showed that 99% of monkeypox cases in the U.S. are in males, and 94% of cases report recent male-to-male sexual or intimate contact.
Vanessa Castro, associate director of HIV & Health Equity for the Human Rights Campaign, told the Hill that the health emergency should be renewed as other challenges related to the outbreak are ongoing.
"One of the biggest things that we are continuing to hear about is really the disproportionate access to vaccine distribution, which especially impacts our Black, Latinx and people living with HIV communities," Castro said.
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