U.S government has declared the monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency following a spike in cases.

The decision will speed up the distribution of vaccines, treatments and federal resources to curb the spread of the virus.

It comes less than a fortnight after the World Health Organization (WHO) issued its highest emergency alert following a worldwide surge in cases.

Cases have topped 6,600 in the US, according to health officials.

A quarter of these cases have appeared in the state of New York, which declared its own state of emergency over the disease last week.

The two states with the next highest caseloads – California and Illinois – declared states of emergency earlier this week.

In addition, more than 26,000 cases have been confirmed worldwide this year, data from the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows.

Some public health experts have expressed concern the emergency declaration could further stigmatise the disease. Although anyone can catch monkeypox, the outbreak has been largely concentrated in gay and bisexual men.

But it is not purely a sexually transmitted infection (STI), and can also be passed on by close contact with an infected person.

Credit: BBC

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