US Reporter

CDC says Monkeypox is Slowing Down, Major Cities Report Lower Daily Cases

Photo Credit: Tami Chappell | Reuters

As major cities across the nation record fewer cases, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has expressed optimism that the spread of monkeypox is already slowing down.

“We’re watching this with cautious optimism and really hopeful that many of our harm-reduction messages and our vaccines are getting out there and working,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of CDC.

According to Walensky, the number of confirmed monkeypox cases in the nation is still rising every day. The outbreak’s pace is, however, slowing down. Since May, 17,000 cases of monkeypox have been confirmed in the US. The CDC claims that this number exceeds that of any other nation globally.

The daily average in New York City, that was severely affected by the epidemic and had the highest number of infections reported every day, has already significantly decreased. Last Thursday, the New York City health department reported that cases have dropped from a daily average of 70 to nine.

The city’s health commissioner attributes the decrease in cases to the increased vaccination campaigns against monkeypox that numerous health agencies began months ago. This trend has also been influenced by community outreach. There are currently 2,888 cases of monkeypox in New York City.

Chicago, which ranks high with New York in terms of the number of cases reported, is also benefiting from the vaccination efforts. According to the Chicago health department, there were 74 cases during the final week of August, down from 141 at the end of July. There are currently 807 reported cases in Chicago.

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The US should still exercise caution

Despite the trend’s slowing, many health authorities advise taking extra precautions. To completely stop the epidemic, the nation should keep up its vaccination campaigns.

“We’re not seeing the potentially exponential growth that we were seeing early on, so that is reassuring. Too early to say things look really good, but definitely some signs of slowing of cases,” said Dr. Allison Arwady, Chicago’s public health commissioner.

In order to protect high-risk groups, primarily gay and bisexual men, the Health and Human Services Department has advised the public that it has enough vaccines on hand. In fact, according to the department head, Dawn O’Connell, high-risk groups are eligible for two doses of the monkeypox vaccine. In addition, the CDC reports that the highest risk group includes about 1.7 million gay and bisexual men who are HIV positive.

According to O’Connell, the federal government has already given out more than 1.5 million doses of the monkeypox vaccine to the states that demand it. In addition, States would receive an additional 3 million doses as a result of the government entering into a contract with Bavarian Nordic.

According to recent statistics, Black and Hispanic men in the US have been affected by monkeypox. According to the CDC, 23% of the patient population is black, 32% are Hispanic, and 30% are white. 59% of the population of the US overall is White, followed by Hispanics (19%) and Blacks (13%).

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The Jynneos vaccine

The only business that has received approval from the Food and Drug Administration to export the monkeypox vaccine to the US is Bavarian Nordic, which produces the vaccine under the brand name Jynneos. Two injections of the vaccine are given into the skin. An individual would have to wait 28 days after receiving the first dose before receiving the second and final dose.

The CDC states that it will take two weeks after receiving the second dose for the vaccine to start working effectively against the monkeypox virus. 97% of the 19 locations where the vaccines have been administered are still first doses, according to CDC Director Walensky.

The government struggled to get vaccines to health agencies all over the country when the virus first entered the US. As a large number of individuals rushed to receive the vaccine against monkeypox, supply shortages kept occurring among the facilities that administered the vaccine. A new agreement that the government has signed will allow Bavarian Nordic to add millions more to the nation’s stockpile.

Source: CNBC

Opinions expressed by US Reporter contributors are their own.