Biden announces White House monkeypox response team with 3 states declaring emergencies

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President Biden on Tuesday announced a team to coordinate and manage the monkeypox response effortsas the virus spreads in cities and states across the country.

The president appointed Robert Fenton, regional administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, to serve as the White House National Monkeypox Response Coordinatorand Dr. Demetre Daskalakis as Deputy Coordinator.

“Fenton and Deaskalakis will lead the administration’s strategy and operations to combat the current monkeypox outbreak, including equitably increasing the test availability, vaccinations and treatments,” the White House announced on Tuesday.

Fenton served twice as Acting Administrator of FEMA and led “multiple challenging operations for prevention, response and recovery” throughout his career.

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Daskalakis, a leading public health expert, is currently director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of HIV Prevention. The White House said he “is an expert on health issues affecting LGBTQIA+ communities”. Daskalakis previously oversaw infectious disease management for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Labeled tubes "Monkeypox virus" with positive and negative results shown in this illustration taken on May 23, 2022.

Tubes labeled “Monkeypox Virus” with positive and negative results shown in this illustration taken May 23, 2022.
(REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration)

The White House said the two officials have played “an essential role in making COVID vaccines more accessible to underserved communities and closing the equity gap in adult immunization rates.”

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The president’s chief medical adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, added that the team “will enable the Biden administration to further accelerate and strengthen its response to monkeypox.”

The two officials are expected to coordinate and manage response efforts across the White House and all federal departments and agencies, as well as work with local, state, national and international stakeholders on “tracking and combating the spread” of the virus. monkeypox.

California, Illinois and New York have declared monkeypox states of emergency.

The first case of monkeypox was confirmed in the United States on May 18.

So far, the Biden administration has made more than 1.1 million doses of the vaccine available to states and cities across the country to control the spread of the virus, and expanded testing capacity by 6,000 tests per week to more than 80,000 tests per week.

“Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. Monkeypox virus is in the same family of viruses as variola virus, the virus that causes smallpox,” the CDC notes on its website. Internet.

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Symptoms of monkeypox are milder than symptoms of smallpox – and monkeypox is rarely fatal.

The virus is not related to chickenpox, the CDC says. Monkeypox was discovered in 1958 when two outbreaks of a smallpox-like disease appeared in monkeys kept for research.

Monkeypox virus present in human vesicular fluid.

Monkeypox virus present in human vesicular fluid.
(BSIP/UIG Via Getty Images)

Symptoms of monkeypox include headache, muscle aches, exhaustion, fever, back pain, swollen lymph nodes, and chills.

Within one to three days, a rash and lesions may also develop, according to the CDC.

The CDC shares many healthy actions we can all take to limit contact and disease transmission.

WHO DECLARES MONKEYPOX A GLOBAL HEALTH EMERGENCY

Among these tips: avoid close skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash; do not touch the rashes or scabs of anyone with monkeypox; do not share utensils, plates or cups with someone infected with the virus; do not handle or touch the bedding, towels or clothing of a person with monkeypox; wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

The CDC recommends that people infected with monkeypox isolate themselves at home, noting that very close personal contact is another cause of the virus spreading rapidly.

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Anyone with an active rash or other symptoms should “stay in a separate room or area, away from the people or pets you live with, when possible,” the CDC noted.

Fox News’ Deirdre Reilly contributed to this report.

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