The Biden administration has officially declared monkeypox a public health emergency as cases continue to rise in the U.S., the Wall Street Journal reported.
The move aims to speed up the distribution of the monkeypox vaccine amid has faced criticism over the pace of vaccine availability for monkeypox, according to a person familiar with the decision.
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, the public health emergency will bolster the federal response to the monkeypox outbreak that has already infected more than 6,600 Americans.
The announcement will free up federal funding and resources to fight the virus, which may cause fever, body aches, chills, fatigue, and pimple-like bumps on many body parts.
The U.S. has the highest number of known cases globally, surpassing Spain, Germany, and the U.K, among other countries.
Last month, the World Health Organization declared monkeypox a public health emergency of international concern. New York, California, and Illinois have also declared their state of emergency.
SIGA's lead product, TPOXX, is an orally administered antiviral drug for the treatment of smallpox. Monkeypox is in the same virus family as smallpox, but it causes milder symptoms.
"We're a treatment, we're a pill. You take it twice daily for 14 days, and we have approval for monkeypox in Europe," SIGA CEO Philip Gomez said on Benzinga's YouTube show "LIVE Trading.
Photo: Jernej Furman from Flickr