More than 1,400 cases of monkeypox have been verified in 44 states and territories in the United States, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expect the outbreak to spread.
According to CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, enormous queues are waiting for monkeypox vaccines in cities like New York City, which is the outbreak’s core.
In a call with reporters on Friday, Walensky said, “We know that this is annoying. She said that the Department of Health and Human Services is working to enhance supply.
Since symptoms of the virus typically appear three weeks after exposure, according to Walensky, the FDA anticipates an increase in cases through July and August. In the upcoming weeks, people who don’t yet realize they are sick are likely to get tested and seek medical assistance.
Following the hiring of numerous private laboratories, notably Quest Diagnostics and Labcorp, the United States is now able to do 70,000 tests each week, according to Walensky. Orthopox, a family of viruses that includes monkeypox, is tested for in the labs. Orthopox testing results are usually associated with monkeypox infections, according to Dr. Jennifer McQuiston of the CDC.
The tests entail a sample of the painful sores that are indicative of the illness, although those can take weeks to appear after exposure. According to Walensky, there is no other approved test that can confirm orthodoxly.
At the moment, the outbreak mostly affects gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men. According to Walensky, the vast majority of the 700 patients who submitted demographic information identified as guys who have sex with men.
According to the CDC, more than 11,000 cases of monkeypox have been identified in 55 different countries globally.
According to HHS, the nation has distributed all 156,000 doses of the monkeypox vaccine that states have so far requested, with the vast majority of them having been delivered in the previous week. Local authorities now have access to more than 300,000 vaccinations after the federal government made an extra 131,000 doses available to them on Friday.
The two-dose vaccine Jynneos, which the Food and Drug Administration approved in 2019 for individuals aged 18 and older who are at high risk of monkeypox or smallpox infection, is the foundation of the CDC vaccination program.
Additionally, the United States is coordinating with the Danish producer Bavarian Nordic to accept delivery of an additional 786,000 Jynneos doses that are now being held in Denmark. When the FDA gives the company’s facility the all-clear, HHS will preposition those dosages in the United States and make them ready for distribution. According to Dawn O’Connell, the HHS officer in charge of the office that monitors the strategic national stockpile of the United States, that approval is anticipated by the end of the month.
Bavarian Nordic is to supply HHS with 2.5 million more doses of the Jynneos vaccine, which will be delivered over the following year to the nation’s strategic stockpile. On Friday, the United States placed a second order for 2.5 million doses, which will be delivered to the national stockpile in 2023. By the middle of 2023, HHS estimates that the U.S. will have roughly 7 million Jynneos doses in total.
Local health agencies can also ask for the older smallpox vaccine ACAM2000, which is probably effective against the monkeypox virus but has major side effects and is not advised for persons with weakened immune systems such as those with HIV, those with certain skin problems, and expectant women. ACAM2000 dosages total more than 100 million in the US.
If a person has been exposed to monkeypox in the previous two weeks, either directly or indirectly, the CDC advises that they get vaccinated. According to Walensky, federal health authorities prioritize vaccinating areas with an increase in illnesses while also making the shots available to all jurisdictions with populations that are more likely to contract monkeypox.
The CDC recommends that states and jurisdictions record all of their instances as soon as possible and precisely, according to Walensky.
The Jynneos vaccination is given in two doses separated by 28 days. Walensky underlined that it takes two weeks for the second shot to fully guard against the virus and that a single dose does not offer enough defense against it.
Symptoms and danger signs
According to the CDC, skin-on-skin contact, close face-to-face interactions like kissing, and contaminated objects like sheets and towels are the main ways that monkeypox spreads.
In the past, the illness frequently started with flu-like symptoms before developing into a rash that may cover the entire body. However, the current outbreak has led to atypical symptoms, with some people initially acquiring a rash or having no flu-like symptoms at all. Many people have acquired a rash on their genitalia or anus, which can resemble pimples or blisters.
Intimate physical contact with people who have a rash that resembles monkeypox should be avoided, according to Walensky, and intercourse with multiple or anonymous partners should be minimized. Additionally, folks ought to think twice about attending sex parties or other gatherings where attendees aren’t dressed very formally. According to Walensky, those who choose to engage in sexual activity with a partner who is monkeypox positive should adhere to CDC recommendations to reduce their risk.