CDC estimates 1.7 million gay and bisexual men face highest risk from monkeypox

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates about 1.7 million men who’ve intercourse with men face the largest menace from monkeypox proper now.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky advised reporters on a name Thursday that gay and bisexual men who’re HIV constructive or who’re taking medicines, referred to as PREP, to scale back their likelihood of contracting HIV face the best well being risk from monkeypox.

“That’s the population we have been most focused on in terms of vaccination,” Walensky mentioned.

The U.S. has secured 1.1 million doses of the two-dose vaccine Jynneos to date, based on the Health and Human Services Department. The federal authorities has delivered greater than 600,000 doses of the vaccine since May, based on HHS.

Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH, Director, United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; speaks through the COVID Federal Response Hearing on Capitol Hill on June 16, 2022 in Washington, DC.

Joe Raedle | Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration accepted Jynneos in 2019 for adults ages 18 and older who’re at excessive risk of smallpox or monkeypox. Jynneos, made the Danish biotech firm Bavarian Nordic, is the one accepted monkeypox vaccine within the U.S.

Walensky acknowledged final month that demand for the vaccine has outstripped provide, resulting in lengthy traces exterior clinics in lots of cities. Sexual well being clinics that serve the LGBTQ neighborhood have mentioned the vaccination marketing campaign must increase to anybody who thinks they’re at risk of getting monkeypox to convey the outbreak below management.

“What we really want to do is get to the point where we can vaccinate everyone who wants it,” mentioned Dr. Ward Carpenter, co-director of well being companies on the Los Angeles LGBT Center, which is administering monkeypox vaccines, conducting screenings and prescribing antiviral remedies.

“We’re still not anywhere close to that. We are really trying to focus on the people who are most at need, most at risk. But that’s not a successful public health strategy,” Carpenter mentioned.

Monkeypox has been spreading primarily via skin-to-skin contact throughout intercourse amongst gay and bisexual men, public well being officers say. About 98% of sufferers who offered demographic data to clinics recognized as men who’ve intercourse with men, based on the CDC. But public well being officers have repeatedly emphasised that anybody can catch the illness via bodily contact with somebody who has it or contaminated supplies comparable to bedsheets and towels.

But as infections rise, the risk grows that the virus might begin spreading extra broadly. At least two youngsters within the U.S. have caught monkeypox probably via transmission inside their households, based on the CDC.

“We’re trying to contain this disease in the people who have it right now,” Carpenter mentioned. “This is a moment, an opportunity for us to do so because it is in a relatively close knit community right now. If this gets out of that community, people have totally lost the capacity to contain this,” he mentioned.

The U.S. has confirmed greater than 6,600 circumstances of monkeypox in 48 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico as of Thursday, based on the CDC. The precise variety of infections is probably going larger as a result of folks can solely get examined for the virus after they develop the rash, which may take per week or extra in some circumstances. Clinicians swab the rash to take the specimen for the check.

Monkeypox is never deadly and no deaths have been reported within the U.S. to date. But sufferers can endure debilitating ache from the rash attributable to the virus.

CNBC Health & Science

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