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CDC cautiously optimistic outbreak could be slowing

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is cautiously optimistic that the U.S. is slowing the spread of monkeypox as recent cases fall in several major cities.

“We’re watching this with cautious optimism, and really hopeful that lots of our harm-reduction messages and our vaccines are getting on the market and dealing,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky told reporters Friday during an update on the monkeypox outbreak.

Although monkeypox cases are still increasing nationally, the speed of the outbreak appears to be slowing, Walensky said. The U.S. has reported nearly 17,000 monkeypox cases since May, greater than another country on the earth, in line with CDC data.

In Recent York City, which has reported more infections than another jurisdiction, recent monkeypox cases have dropped from greater than 70 per day on average to nine as of Thursday, in line with data from town health department.

Dr. Aswhin Vasan, town health commissioner, said earlier this week the outbreak has slowed as a consequence of increased vaccination and community outreach efforts. Recent York City has reported a complete of two,888 monkeypox cases.

In Chicago, one other major epicenter of the outbreak, recent cases have dropped from 141 in the course of the week ended July 30 to 74 for the week ended Aug. 20, in line with that city’s health department. Chicago has reported a complete of 807 cases.

“We’re not seeing the doubtless exponential growth that we were seeing early on in order that is reassuring,” said Dr. Allison Arwady, Chicago’s public health commissioner, during a Facebook live event earlier this week. “Too early to say things look really good, but definitely some signs of slowing of cases.”

The U.S. is nearing the purpose where all the community of gay and bisexual men who currently face the best health risk from monkeypox rwill have access to 2 doses of the monkeypox vaccine, in line with Dawn O’Connell, head of the office liable for the national stockpile on the Health and Human Services Department.

The CDC previously estimated that as much as 1.7 million gay and bisexual men who’re HIV-positive or are eligible for medicine to cut back their likelihood of contracting HIV face the best health risk from monkeypox.

The U.S. has distributed 1.5 million doses of the monkeypox vaccine up to now and greater than 3 million doses needs to be available by when the newest distribution round is complete, in line with O’Connell.

Up to now, the outbreak is disproportionately affecting Black and Hispanic men. About 30% of monkeypox patients are white, 32% are Hispanic and 23% are Black, in line with CDC data. Whites make up about 59% of the U.S. population while Hispanics and Blacks account for 19% and 13%, respectively.

The monkeypox vaccine, called Jynneos within the U.S., is run in two doses 28 days apart. The patients is not going to have full protection from the vaccine until two weeks after the second dose is run, in line with the CDC. Data from 19 jurisdictions show that just about 97% of the shots administered up to now were first doses, in line with Walensky.

About 94% of monkeypox cases are related to sexual contact and nearly the entire individuals who have contracted the virus are men who’ve sex with men, in line with Demetre Daskalakis, the deputy head of the White House monkeypox response team.

A CDC survey of 824 gay and bisexual men found that 48% respondents have reduced their variety of sexual partners and 50% have reduced one-time sexual encounters in the course of the current outbreak. A separate CDC study found that a 40% decrease in one-time sexual encounters would cut back the ultimate percentage of gay and bisexual men infected with monkeypox by as much as 31%.

“We’re actually seeing vaccine get out, behaviors change, harm-reduction messages being heard and implemented,” Walensky said. “And all of that working together to bend the curve.”

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