America set to have world’s worst monkeypox outbreak ‘in days’, statistics suggest

America will have the biggest monkeypox outbreak around the world within days, statistics suggest amid increased testing picking up the disease in areas where it had previously spread ‘uninterrupted’.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (GGD) said 3,487 cases of the rash-causing virus had been detected since Tuesday, only behind Spain with 3,596 confirmed infections.

But per population – taking into account that the US has seven times more people – America has about one case per 100,000 people compared to Spain’s figure of seven per 100,000. The infection rate is also below many other European countries, including the UK and Germany (both at three per 100,000).

Dr. Bill Hanage, an epidemiologist at Harvard University, warned that it was “reasonable” to suggest that the number of cases in the Americas would “surpass” in other nations. He said the increase was partly down to the increase in testing, which detected monkeypox in areas where it had previously spread under the radar.

The graph above shows the cumulative number of cases in the US, and the current total compared to that in other nations worldwide. The US only reports cases on weekdays, and not on weekends. The latest figure is for July 25, while that for Spain – which has the biggest epidemic – is for July 22.

The above map shows cases of monkeypox in the US, as reported to the CDC. Only four states - Maine, Montana, Vermont and Wyoming - have yet to catch the virus

The above map shows cases of monkeypox in the US, as reported to the CDC. Only four states – Maine, Montana, Vermont and Wyoming – have yet to catch the virus

The United States updated its monkeypox tally every week, with the latest figures up to July 25.

But Spain has published its counts every two to three days, with the latest data only from the date of July 22. On July 19, Spain reported 3,125 cases. averages the daily rise in cases over the last seven available days to calculate how fast they tick every 24 hours. This showed that the US currently records an average of about 216 monkeypox cases per day, while in Spain 108 are detected per day.

Washington DC joins New York City in delaying second monkeypox jabs

Washington DC has postponed its rollout of second doses of the monkeypox, joining New York City.

The Department of Public Health revealed the move on Monday, citing “very limited” supplies of the jabs and a rapid increase in cases.

They said: ‘This is extremely important because more people getting vaccinated with their first shot will help us contain the virus.’

America is rolling out the two-dose Jynneous vaccine to combat monkeypox, with the second dose to be given four weeks after the first.

But some experts say it is possible to widen the gap – as was done with the Covid vaccine in other countries – to ensure that more people can be vaccinated first.

An adviser on vaccinations for the Food and Drug Administration has cautioned against the move, however, saying that no studies have been conducted to determine whether it will ensure that the jabs are still effective.

Both New York City and Washington DC offer monkeypox jabs to gay or bisexual men with multiple sexual partners.

Based on these figures, the number of America this week could already exceed that of Spain this week. It is unlikely that any other European nation will see an increase going forward, as experts say many – including the UK – are now seeing their epidemics begin to peak.

Asked whether the US would soon have the worst of the epidemic, Hanage said: ‘The US was slow to start widespread testing, and so now they are detecting chains of transmission that have been going on uninterrupted for some time. We do not know how much increased awareness, especially in the core communities of gay and bisexual men, will slow transmission.

“But it’s reasonable to suggest that the number of US cases will continue to grow and outpace the epidemic elsewhere.”

When the outbreak began in May, the CDC was doing about 23 tests a day as it struggled to swab the ground. Many medics also complained that they do not accept samples from suspected cases due to strict guidelines.

It took more than a month for five commercial laboratories to be registered and guidance to be released, allowing more tests to be carried out.

The CDC says this has allowed it to expand testing capacity from 10,000 to 80,000 swabs per week.

Daily counts have since taken a hit, with the biggest daily increase yet reported last Thursday with 298 cases within 24 hours.

Another 596 cases — or 198 per day — were recorded on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, CDC figures show, but capacity is generally lower on weekends because many people are away from their desks.

Breaking down the data by area shows that New York City currently has the largest outbreak with 1,040 confirmed infections. It is followed by California, at 356, and Illinois, with 341.

Only four states – Maine, Montana, Vermont and Wyoming – have yet to detect one infection with the disease.

America initially focused on contact tracing efforts to get the upper hand on the disease, and vaccinated close contacts of positive cases.

But as more and more infections were detected without links to known cases, New York City and Washington DC began offering the jab every two weeks to all gay or bisexual men with multiple sexual partners to help stop the spread of the virus. limit

However, the rollouts have been affected by a lack of supply, with appointments in New York several times within minutes of going online. Both cities have now postponed second doses – by four weeks after the first – so they can get more vaccinations for the first time.

It is not clear whether other states will also begin vaccinating the group – where most cases are detected – to deal with the outbreak.

Monkeypox is normally confined to West Africa, but earlier this year it was picked up at a Pride festival in Spain.

Since then, more than 40 countries worldwide – mostly in Europe – have seen cases of the disease, which are mostly among homosexual or bisexual men.

Unlike in previous outbreaks, the disease seems to spread mostly through sexual contact with lesions – which allow transmission – appearing initially on the genital and anal regions.

Experts say that the disease has probably already passed into other groups, however, which are more at risk. In the US, two children were infected last week.

America set to have world’s worst monkeypox outbreak ‘in days’, statistics suggest

Source link America set to have world’s worst monkeypox outbreak ‘in days’, statistics suggest

Back to top button