On Thursday, the White House declared monkeypox a public health emergency.
According to reports, the declaration clears the way for a more muscular response to the virus spreading rapidly.
Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra made the monkeypox emergency declaration, freeing federal money and other resources to fight the virus, which may cause fever, body aches, chills, fatigue, and pimple-like bumps on many parts of the body.
“We’re prepared to take our response to the next level,” Becerra said.
The declaration came after health officials in New York City and state, as well as California and Illinois, issued the same pronouncement.
On July 23, the World Health Organization declared monkeypox a global health emergency.
According to reports, the once-rare disease has been established in parts of central and west Africa for decades but was not known to spark large outbreaks beyond the continent or to spread widely among people until May, when authorities detected dozens of epidemics in Europe, North America and elsewhere.
The virus spreads through prolonged and close skin-to-skin contact and sharing bedding, towels, and clothing. It has spread primarily among men in Europe and North America, though health officials emphasize that the virus can infect anyone.