Dallas County declares monkeypox public health emergency

Photo credit Marina Demidiuk/Getty Images

Dallas County has declared monkeypox a public health emergency.

"This declaration is not a cause for panic," said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins. "This is a declaration that we will use to try to open more doors to get vaccine faster.

"Currently, we have enough vaccine to cover about 5,000 people with their first shot," Jenkins said.

Dr. Philip Huang, director of Dallas County Health and Human Services, said that while that number may seem like a lot, it's not.

"We're really having to prioritize and get the vaccine into the arms of those that are the highest risk of transmission to others, so that we can try to slow down the spread."

The declaration comes as more people become infected with monkeypox in Dallas County.

"Today's official number is 215 confirmed cases," Dr. Huang said.

Jenkins said that while this is no time to panic, people should do everything they can to avoid situations where they can become infected with the virus.

"We can't beat it through vaccination if these numbers get out of control before the federal emergency declaration can speed getting those frozen bags of vaccine into those vials and getting them to us," Jenkins said.

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