(WXYZ) — On Thursday, President Joe Biden declared monkeypox a public health emergency in the United States.
In Michigan, state officials are reporting at least 66 cases of the disease throughout the state. This is almost double the number of cases compared to last week.
This declaration from President Biden now frees up money the government can use to help supply testing and vaccines throughout the U.S..
Right now there are around 6,600 cases of monkeypox reported in the country.
"We need to put more effort into controlling this." Dr. Matthew Sims the Director of Infectious Disease Research at Beaumont Hospital said.
He adds that he thinks President Biden's announcement is a step in the right direction.
"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.
Doctor Sims says the response to monkeypox will mirror the COVID pandemic.
There will be testing, treatment, and prevention steps which include vaccines.
Beaumont is currently working on getting more of all three.
Right now, the state has about 7,6000 doses of the vaccine allocated but we are expecting to receive a total of 14,500 doses.
Distribution of the vaccine has already taken place at select health departments across the state, but the vaccine is being reserved for people considered to be at-risk.
At the moment, that seems to be people who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community. But such messaging can be misleading based on how the virus spreads.
"We know that MPV can impact any and everyone. It's as easy as skin-to-skin contact which includes high fives, hugs, and kisses. Dancing on the dance floor, playing sports, or being at recess," Sims explains.
Experts say an MPV diagnosis is not a scarlet letter and no one should be ashamed to get tested.