August 5, 2022

Monkeypox Declared a Public Health Emergency

Argentum August 5, 2022

The Biden Administration officially declared a Public Health Emergency (PHE) yesterday for the Monkeypox outbreak. The federal declaration follows a declaration of a global emergency last month by the World Health Organization.

There were 7,102 confirmed cases of Monkeypox in the U.S. as of this morning; no deaths have been reported in the U.S., but there have been 9 recorded fatalities of the nearly 27,000 reported cases worldwide. The virus is spread primarily through close contact (typically skin-to-skin) with someone who is symptomatic. It typically results in a fever, swollen lymph nodes, rash, and painful lesions that may last for weeks. Those with compromised immune systems may be more at-risk of severe complications from this virus.

As with the PHE declaration for COVID-19 (since renewed eight times), the Monkeypox PHE will provide the federal government additional authority and resources to mitigate the outbreak, such as providing vaccines and treatments without the need for full federal review. JYNNEOS (also known as Imvamune or Imvanex) is the “preferred” vaccine for Monkeypox, and can also be used as part of the treatment if given within four days of exposure; Tecovirimat (TPOXX) is another treatment. ACAM2000 vaccine may be an alternative to JYNNEOS.

The CDC issued guidelines specific for reducing Monkeypox transmission in congregate living settings. A few things you can do to protect yourself and your residents from Monkeypox include:

  1. Screen all new residents for symptoms of the illness
  2. Educate staff and residents about the signs and symptoms of Monkeypox infection
  3. Implement standard precautions for preventing the spread of disease pathogens
  4. Isolate infected residents from those who are not infected
  5. Seek medical care if you suspect an outbreak of Monkeypox in your community

Argentum is closely monitoring the outbreak and potential impact on senior living communities. We will also be advocating for necessary support and resources to ensuring residents, staff, and visitors are best protected.

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