Monkeypox a Federal Public Health Emergency

On 08/04/2022, the Biden administration declared a federal public health emergency (PHE) for monkeypox.

During a call with reporters, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said that some 6,600 cases of the virus had already been reported for the week compared to less than 5,000 the week before.

The virus has spread primarily through close contact with someone who is infected. Treatment includes isolation and pain management, often at home. It is rarely fatal.

Designating the outbreak as a PHE allows federal agencies to access emergency funding and allocate funds and other resources to help prevent the spread of the virus. Such declarations also permit the waiver of some laws and requirements to allow healthcare providers to respond to the disease.

On July 23 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global health emergency over the outbreak.