CDC activates emergency operations unit for monkeypox

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<span>Photograph: Gavino Garay/Reuters</span>
Photograph: Gavino Garay/Reuters

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has activated an emergency operations unit for monkeypox that signals the initial stages of a public health concern.

The Emergency Operations Center (EOC), was activated on Tuesday to boost operational support for addressing a monkeypox outbreak.

For reference, the EOC was activated for Covid-19 in January 2020, on the same day as the first coronavirus case was detected in the US.

Related: US ramping up monkey pox vaccine distribution to slow down spread

“The EOC activation is helping to further supplement the ongoing work of CDC staff to respond to this outbreak,” said Scott Pauley, a press officer with CDC. “Clinicians and public health departments already reach out to CDC to report and investigate monkeypox cases,” he added.

There are currently 300 CDC staff members working on monkeypox with local and state-level medical personnel, and the EOC is expected to enhance those measures.

As of Monday, CDC recorded 306 cases of monkeypox across 28 states, with the highest numbers in California and New York, respectively. Currently, there are 66 cases in California, 63 in New York, and 45 in Illinois. The other states, for the most part, have fewer than 10 cases reported.

Epidemiologist and health economist Dr Eric Feigl-Ding noted on Tuesday that the expected number of monkeypox cases by August is 100,000 worldwide, and urged the World Health Organization to take action.

Earlier, on Sunday, WHO said while the global rate of the monkeypox spread is alarming, it does not yet raise alarms for a global emergency.

On Monday, the White House announced that the administration is allocating nearly 300,000 vaccine doses, with an estimated 1.6m doses available over the next few months.