WASHINGTON, D.C. (KERO) — The Biden Administration says it has not yet made a decision about declaring monkeypox a public health emergency.
The announcement by Health and Human Services Secretary Havier Becerra comes as U.S. cases jumped to more than 4,500. There are now more than 20,000 confirmed cases around the world. Health officials say both numbers are likely under-counted.
Secretary Becerra says every American should pay attention to monkeypox, saying quote "It is not COVID but it is contagious."
The World Health Organization has already declared monkeypox a global health emergency.
Meanwhile, according to the Kern County Public Health Department's" website, the county's confirmed and possible monkey-pox infections stand at 5. That number was last updated by local health officials on July 26th.
And pregnant women are now among those affected by monkeypox in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says a woman infected with the virus gave birth amid the latest outbreak.
While both mother and baby are doing well doctors say monkey\pox has been known to cause adverse outcomes in pregnancy.
Pregnant people are already among those whom the CDC considers at "increased risk" for severe disease.
If you're pregnant you're urged to avoid contact with people infected with the virus and to seek medical care right away if you begin experiencing symptoms.