Monkeypox outbreak slows as feds promise action and communication

September 15, 2022 — The number of Americans newly diagnosed with monkeypox has fallen nearly 50% since early August, the White House and other federal health officials announced Thursday.

Although the overall picture is improving, there are still some areas in the United States that are seeing an increase in infection numbers. For this and other reasons, the CDC plans to maintain “the throttle” and continue to educate, vaccinate, and treat the communities at highest risk, said CDC Director Rochelle Walinsky, MD.

“Over the past several weeks, we have been pleased to see a decrease in the growth of new cases here and abroad,” Walinsky said Thursday at a news conference held by the White House monkeypox response team and public health officials.

“What’s interesting is that the management strategy here is working,” Walinsky said..

“It’s really important to say that we’re not the only ones pressing the throttle,” said Demeter Daskalakis, deputy monkeypox response coordinator at the White House. He said gay, bisexual, and other MSM communities, including men of color, are “putting their feet on the throttle as well.” This category helps responsible officials understand how best to use the treatment drug TPOXX and the Jynneos vaccine, for example, and will be essential for ongoing research.

Monkeypox has also been identified in A few womenIn each of these cases, officials noted, no further transmission occurred.

TPOXX and concerns about resistance

Some experts have questioned whether tecovirimat or TPOXX, an antiviral drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat the associated smallpox virus, might one day become less effective against the virus.

“When you have a viral disease that has a large outbreak in the community and you have one drug to use, there is always the theoretical potential for resistance,” said Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy. and infectious diseases.

“That’s why we don’t feel uncomfortable when you have only one drug that has been proven to work, or that you prove to be effective, and it’s part of the clinical trial,” Fauci said.

The Fauci team sponsors a Clinical trial which launched on September 8 and plans to enroll 500 adults and children. The researchers plan to evaluate the drug’s safety and whether tecovirimat works better than placebo in recovery time, pain scores, preventing people from progressing to acute monkeypox, and more. Fauci said the risk of resistance will also be addressed in this trial.

Future research will look at other antiviral drugs, so there is more than one option, especially if resistance to tecovirimat develops.

Vaccination: Successes, Equity Efforts, and Research

Walinsky said more than 540,000 doses of the Jynneos vaccine have been administered across 39 jurisdictions that provide data to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data shows that 47% of people who receive the first dose are white, 21% are Hispanic, and 12% are black.

Officials also reported an increase in the number of people receiving their second dose of Jynneos over the past few weeks. The recommended time between the first and second vaccine dose is 28 days.

“As a reminder, Genus is a two-dose vaccine and it’s important to get the second dose in the series to get the best protection against monkeypox,” Walinsky said. She added that current data indicate that peak protection occurs 14 days after the second dose.

They are the first to adopt, or as Wallinsky describes them, “the people who roll up their sleeves before they get to the pharmacy,” who account for the most immunizations to date.

Officials realize we are entering a more difficult phase in terms of vaccinating more hesitant people as well.

In an effort to “hide and go deeper” into vulnerable communities, the White House plans to build on their past success with Communicate at big pride events Bob Fenton, the White House monkeypox response coordinator, said the pilot is expanding the pilot program to include smaller community events.

Effective interventions rely on targeting men of color as well, which is part of the CDC Pilot project to own monkeypox vaccine.

“We’ve also seen the racial and ethnic makeup of this outbreak evolve,” Walinsky said. Initially, monkeypox cases were reported in white, non-Hispanic men. But in the past few weeks, the demographics have changed. Now non-Hispanic white men account for 26% of cases, non-Hispanic black men 38%, and Hispanic or Latino men 25% of cases.

“As we have said, fairness must remain the cornerstone of our response,” Daskalakis said.

In terms of vaccine research, NIAID sponsors a study To evaluate the efficacy of administering Jynneos vaccine between layers of the skin rather than subcutaneously to protect against monkeypox. As of August 10, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration allowed one dose of Jynneos usually given subcutaneously, or subcutaneously, to be divided into five doses given between the layers of the skin, or into the skin. Now researchers are looking into the safety and effectiveness of the practice further into the trial.

monkeypox“He doesn’t travel alone”

Data suggests that monkeypox does not travel alone, so using existing services focused on HIV and STDs in affected communities is another strategy to educate and reduce monkeypox, Daskalakis said.

For example, 38% of 1,969 people diagnosed with monkeypox had HIV and 41% had an STI in the previous year, according to a study published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. morbidity And the weekly mortality report on September 9.

“We are rapidly using this data to change how monkeypox services are supported by public health departments, clinics and community organizations,” Daskalakis said. “The same people we need to test for HIV and STIs and lead to prevention and care are the same people who need monkeypox-related services, such as testing, education and vaccinations.”

“This important change in direction … allows frontline health departments and community organizations to use HIV and STI resources to speed us all through to the end of the monkeypox outbreak.”