Monkeypox declared public health emergency; Milwaukee prepares to fight virus

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) — On Thursday, Aug. 4, the Biden administration declared the monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency.

Amid criticism of the administration’s handling of the virus so far.

Some cities and states have long since declared monkeypox an emergency, freeing up funds and resources.

Health officials say Milwaukee will not immediately see a major increase in federal funding, due to the relatively low number of cases in the state.

22 cases have been confirmed so far, including three in Milwaukee.

The city’s health commissioner says Wisconsin has the resources it needs to fight this virus right now, but that could change.

“We’ll know when we find out, it’s new today, it was announced today so we’re all waiting to see what that means.” said Kristen Johnson, Milwaukee Health Commissioner.

The declaration of a public health emergency has prompted health officials in Wisconsin to transfer funds to fight a growing virus.

Johnson said the next steps are to “potentially reallocate the dollars we already have, to be used for monkeypox instead of what they were typically intended for.”

This allocation of dollars will go towards; manpower, protective equipment and the vaccine, which area clinics say they need.

“We only have twenty doses of vaccines. We freed up our vaccine appointment slots today at 8:30 a.m. and they were full by the end of the day.” said Cassey Otto of Holton Street Clinic, which specializes in sexually transmitted diseases.

Otto says she thinks the state will stay ahead of this virus, saying

“It looks like they want things to roll out as quickly as possible. We don’t have a date or anything, but things will change, more than every day, every hour,” Otto said. .

Milwaukee’s health commissioner said Covid served as a model to help get ahead of monkeypox.

The state Department of Health Services has already begun contact tracing and its staff are cross-trained to understand monkeypox.

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