The Biden administration is declaring monkeypox a public health emergency, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra announced Thursday.
The action frees up federal funds and resources to combat the outbreak.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports more than 6,000 cases of monkeypox have been detected in the U.S. Montana and Wyoming are the only states without confirmed monkeypox cases.
The CDC says monkeypox can spread in various ways:
- Direct contact with monkeypox rash, scabs, or body fluids from a person with monkeypox.
- Touching objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, or towels), and surfaces used by someone with monkeypox.
- Contact with respiratory secretions.
There is a vaccine for monkeypox, but it's in short supply. It's currently being offered to people who are infected or considered high-risk. That includes people who have had "multiple sexual partners in the past 2 weeks in an area with known monkeypox" cases.