CDC describes mpox challenges in trans community

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Today in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), researchers describe American transgender mpox patients, suggesting that more than 70% of patients contracted the virus from sexual intercourse with cisgender men.

"These men might be in sexual networks experiencing the highest mpox incidence," the authors explain.

Transgender people and gender-diverse persons make up an estimated 0.5% of the US adult population. To analyze the virus’s impact on this community, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analyzed US case surveillance data on mpox cases in transgender and gender-diverse adults reported during May 17 through Nov 4, 2022. A total of 466 mpox cases in transgender and gender-diverse adults were reported, accounting for 1.7% of reported cases among adults.

Of those cases, transgender women accounted for 43.1% of cases, while gender-diverse persons made up 42.1%, and transgender men accounted for 14.8%.

As seen in other studies, there was a relatively high prevalence of HIV in transgender people who contracted mpox: Among 166 (35.6%) transgender and gender-diverse adult mpox patients with data available on HIV status, 79 (47.6%) had HIV infection, including 34 of 57 (59.6%) transgender women, six of 21 (28.6%) transgender men, and 39 of 88 (44.3%) gender-diverse persons, the authors said.

Hispanic and Black people were overrepresented in transgender mpox cases: 37.0% of cases occurred in Hispanic or Latino (Hispanic) people, 28.1% in White persons, and 27.6% in Black people.

One dose of Jynneos may lessen mpox severity

In a second MMWR study, researchers looked at the effectiveness of one dose of Jynneos vaccine in patients who contracted mpox 14 days after receipt of the vaccine. The vaccine is meant to be administered in two doses, but during the early months of the outbreak, demand outstripped supplies, and many US jurisdictions administered only one dose.

Overall, only 2% of people vaccinated with one dose of Jynneos required hospitalization, compared to 8% of vaccinated persons. In general, people with one dose had milder courses of infection, with fewer complaints of fever, headache, malaise, myalgia, and chills.

"One dose of JYNNEOS vaccine might attenuate the severity of illness and reduce hospitalization in persons who become infected after vaccination; however, to optimize protection, all eligible persons are recommended to complete the 2-dose vaccination series," the authors concluded.

US approaches 30,000 cases

In its weekly update yesterday, the CDC yesterday added 52 more mpox cases, bringing the national total to 29,792. No new deaths were reported, keeping that total at 20.

Today, the global mpox total is 83,497 cases, 72 of them fatal, in 110 countries.

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