BREAKING NEWS

US to declare monkeypox public health emergency - Washington Post

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

The declaration would come from Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra, who is expected to discuss the plan at an afternoon briefing, the Post reported.

The HHS did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

President Biden on Aug. 2 appointed two top federal officials to coordinate his administration's response to monkeypox, following declarations of emergencies by California, Illinois and New York. 

Cases have crossed 6,600 in the United States, as of Wednesday's data.

First identified in monkeys in 1958, the disease has mild symptoms including fever, aches and pus-filled skin lesions, and people tend to recover from it within two to four weeks, according to the World Health Organization.

Anthony Fauci, Biden's chief medical adviser, told Reuters on Thursday that it was critical to engage leaders from the gay community as part of efforts to rein in the outbreak, but cautioned against stigmatizing the lifestyle.

"Engagement of the community has always proven to be successful," Fauci said.

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