Monkeypox declared Public Health Emergency; Milwaukee prepares to fight the virus

NOW: Monkeypox declared Public Health Emergency; Milwaukee prepares to fight the virus

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

The amid criticism for how the administration has handled the virus so far.

Some cities and states, have long declared monkeypox an emergency, allowing them to free up funding and resources.

Health officials say Milwaukee won't see a major increase in federal funding right away, that’s because of the relatively low number of cases in the state.

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

The city's health commissioner says Wisconsin has the resources it needs to curb this virus for now, but that could change.

"We'll know when we'll know, it's new today, it was announced today so we are all sort of waiting to see what this means." said Kristen Johnson, Milwaukee Commissioner of Health.

The public health emergency declaration has Wisconsin health officials potentially shifting funds to fight a growing virus.

Johnson, said, next steps are, "potentially reallocating dollars we already have, to be used for monkeypox instead of what it was usually intended for."

That allocation of dollars will go towards; man power, protective equipment, and the vaccine, something clinics in the area say are what they need.

"We only have twenty doses of vaccines. We released our vaccine slots of appointments today at 8:30 and they were full by the end of the day." said Cassey Otto of Holton Street Clinic, specializing in sexually transmitted diseases.

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

"It seems like they do want to get things rolled out as quickly as possible. We don’t have a date or anything, but thing will change, more than every day, every hour," said Otto.

The Milwaukee health commissioner says Covid has served as a blueprint to help get ahead of monkeypox.

The State Department of Health Services has already started contact tracing, and it's cross-training staff to understand monkeypox.

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