ROYAL OAK, Mich. (WXYZ) — President Joe Biden echoed to World Health Organizations concerns Thursday by declaring monkeypox (MPV) a public health emergency in the United States.
Right now, 6,600 people in the U.S. have the virus. There are 66 positive cases in Michigan, which is up from 37 cases on Sunday.
“We need to put more effort into controlling this,” said Dr. Matthew Sims, the director of Infectious Disease Research at Beaumont Health.
Sims agrees with the president's announcement, saying it will build a sense of urgency to stop the virus before it escalates.
“And that takes higher and higher levels of intervention from the government to make vaccines available, treatment available to have public education campaigns,” Sims said.
The approach, according to Sims, is three-tiered. MPV testing, treatment and prevention, which includes vaccines. Beaumont is working to get more of all three.
Right now, the state of Michigan has roughly 7,600 doses of the vaccine but is expected to receive a total of 14,500. Distribution of the shot has already begun at select health departments across the state. It is currently being reserved for people considered to be at risk.
"We need to direct resources to where we're seeing cases and at the moment, it's in those communities that we've heard," said Andrew Seale with the World Health Organization.
Right now, the virus is mostly spreading within the LGBTQ community, but Victoria Kirvy York with National Black Justice Coalition says the government should be careful with its messaging.
“We know that MPV can impact any and everyone. It’s as easy as skin-to-skin contact, which includes high five’s, hugs and kisses, dancing on the dance floor, playing sports or being at recess,” Kirvy York said.
Activist like Kirvy York say they want to avoid what happened during the HIV/AID epidemic, where people assumed only one group of people could get the disease, which caused some to avoid being tested because of the stigma.