WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Health officials say the federal government is doing what it can to control the spread of monkeypox throughout the U.S.
U.S health officials told Senators, Wednesday, the U.S seems to be containing the world’s largest monkeypox outbreak.
“Over 22,000 cases and one confirmed death in the United States,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said.
Walensky says officials are still responding aggressively to the spread of the disease.
“[We will] use our entire toolkit, including vaccination, testing and education about risk to informed behavior change,” Walensky said.
Dr. Anthony Fauci says globally, monkeypox is still mostly affecting men who have sex with men.
“However, anyone exposed to the circulating virus can get infected with monkeypox regardless of their age, gender identity, or sexual orientation,” Fauci said.
Both Democrats and Republicans say they want to make sure the federal government is doing everything to help those at risk.
“How are you working with state and local partners to make sure we reach everyone who’s at risk for infection?” Sen. Bob Casey (D/PA) asked.
“We need to do more and more outreach. We learned that we need trusted messengers, we need community-based organizations,” Walensky said.
However, Sen. Richard Burr (R/N.C.) says he’s disappointed that the administration has held back vaccines, in case of a smallpox outbreak.
“We know that we have 13 to 15 million gay men in this country,” Burr said. “You’ve got a population that’s a little bit questioning whether you’re doing everything to help them.”
CDC officials say they will continue outreach to communities at risk and educate medical professionals on monkeypox, to spread awareness.