US monkeypox cases top 600 in 34 states

Gloved hand holding photo of monkeypox viruses
Gloved hand holding photo of monkeypox viruses

RHJ / iStock

The monkeypox virus outbreak is growing in the United States and elsewhere, with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now reporting 605 cases in 34 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

New York has the most cases, with 122, followed by California with 116 and Florida with 64.

The virus is affecting rural states, too, with Idaho now reporting its first case. The patient is an adult who likely acquired the infection during travel to a country experiencing an outbreak.

According to the latest situation update from the World Health Organization (WHO) published yesterday, global cases of the virus increased 77% in the past week.

41% of patients HIV-positive

The WHO update also noted that among monkeypox patients with known HIV status, 41% were HIV-positive. Among cases with reported sexual orientation, 60% (1,214 of 2,025) identified as gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men.

"The most often suspected and reported route of transmission, among known contacts, has been through sexual contact. Due to sensitivity in reporting a full list of sexual contacts, identification of all contacts of probable and confirmed cases has therefore proven to be very challenging in this outbreak, and might be one of the reasons why it is hard to break all chains of transmission," the WHO said.

Widespread rash remains the most common symptom among patients in the current outbreak. Among the cases who reported at least one symptom, "81% presented with systemic rash (widespread rash on the body), 50% presented with fever and 41% presented with genital rash."

The WHO also warned that 25 cases have been detected so far among healthcare workers, and said transmission in this setting cannot be ruled out.

The global total stands at 6,027 cases from 59 countries. There have been 3 deaths, all in African nations. In non-endemic countries, the United Kingdom has the most cases, with 1,235, followed by 1,054 in Germany.

In other news, Slovakia has reported its first monkeypox case, as has Jamaica, Singapore, and the Dominican Republic.

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