Monkeypox cases reach 7,500 in US; 99% of cases in males

monkeypox hands
monkeypox hands

Marina Demidiuk/iStock

New data published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report and gathered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows 99% of monkeypox cases in the United States are in males, and 94% of cases report recent male-to-male sexual or intimate contact.

These epidemiologic details should guide treatment and vaccine protocols, the authors of the study said. The characteristics were gathered from reported cases of the virus in the United States from May 17 to Jul 22.

"Current findings indicate that community transmission of monkeypox is widespread and is disproportionately affecting gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men; this is consistent with data reported from other countries," the authors said.

Black and Hispanic men are disproportionately represented in cases, with 54% of monkeypox cases occurring in this population. Forty-one percent of cases were in white males.

Cases among Black American males are also trending upwards. "The percentage of cases among Black persons increased from 12% (29 of 248) during May 17–July 2 to 31% (247 of 806) during July 3–22, and the percentage among Hispanic persons decreased from 33% (82 of 248) to 27% (214 of 806) and among White persons from 49% (121 of 248) to 38% (307 of 806)," the authors said.

As has been seen in other countries, 41% of monkeypox case-patients in the United States are also HIV-positive.

The CDC said today there are 408 more monkeypox cases, raising the total to 7,510. New York has the most cases, with 1,862, followed by California (826), and Florida (633).

Bavarian Nordic vaccine linked to 4% breakthrough cases

A new preprint study from France on breakthrough monkeypox cases in people vaccinated with Bavarian Nordic's Imvanex (known in the United States as Jynneos) shows 4% of vaccinated recipients had breakthrough infections, none severe.

The study was based on 276 recipients who received one dose of Imvanex after close exposure to a monkeypox case-patient, and no serious adverse events were recorded. Among the 276 recipients, 10 of 12 developed a monkeypox infection in the 5 days following vaccination, and two had a breakthrough infection at 22 and 25 days.

In other international news, a doctor in Israel has become the first known healthcare provider to contract monkeypox from a patient, prompting calls for prophylactic vaccination of medical staff at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv.

Israel currently has 160 cases of the virus.

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