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Around early May, more than a dozen people in Chicago were infected with mpox, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn the doctor mpox may flare up again.
For those who have been watching mpox closely, the increase in cases in the US came as no surprise.there was a new case recently reported in EuropeAnd US health officials have warned that at-risk populations are particularly vulnerable due to low mpox vaccination coverage in many parts of the country.
“We have been arguing for months that the number of mpox cases could rise,” said Dr. Demetre Dascalakis, Deputy Coordinator for White House National Mpox Response. “But it wasn’t until the Chicago cases were reported that people started saying, ‘Oh my God, we’re in danger of a second outbreak.'”
The outbreak in Chicago is now 30+ mpox cases. These numbers are much lower than last summer, but they show that mpox isn’t completely gone.
Health officials say the situation in the United States is ripe for a summer surge if no workarounds are taken.
low vaccination coverage
Over 500,000 people live in endangered areas low vaccination coverage, according to the CDC. Therefore, if mpox recurs, they are at risk of large and sustained epidemics that can last for months.
During the U.S. epidemic that began last spring, most of the mpox cases were in homosexuals, bisexuals, and other men who had sex with men. “This occurs primarily through close skin-to-skin contact, often in the context of sexual activity and often associated with sexual activity between men,” Daskarakis said.
Cities such as Jacksonville, Florida, Memphis, Tennessee, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Houston, and Dallas are in counties where many of the at-risk populations are unvaccinated. According to CDC analysis. Other cities, such as San Francisco, New York, and Washington DC, have areas with high vaccination coverage and are more likely to contain a resurgence of mpox quickly.
Overall, the CDC data show that: only about 23% Of the 1.7 million high-risk patients in the United States, two full doses of the JYNNEOS vaccine have been administered. The disease particularly affects black and Latino men. about two-thirds of the US case.
Recent research i found that Two doses of the vaccine provide more protection than one dose. However, “among those who were vaccinated last summer, [many] People who got the first dose of the vaccine didn’t go back for the second dose because they thought the epidemic was over,” he said after the number of cases dropped last year. Dr. Bogma Titanjiassistant professor of medicine and infectious disease expert at Emory University.
Prior immunity provides only partial protection
New evidence also indicates that previously immune people, either through vaccination or recovery from infection, can become mpx again.
A lot of people in the recent mpox cluster in chicago and abroad in France I was fully vaccinated. This does not mean that vaccination is useless, Daskalakis said. Evidence so far suggests that full vaccination is intermediate between: 66% and 86% effective In preventing infection – and anecdotally, new mpox cases in fully vaccinated people were not serious. “They have very mild infections, some of them have very little symptoms. ” he says.
In the United States, mpox has a low mortality rate but can cause severe illness. “It is still a disfiguring disease. It can cause severe pain and can even be fatal for people with weakened immune systems. This is not an easy event.” says Titanji.
As Pride Month kicks off, health officials are urging drinkers to improve their health. “Pride is an opportunity to reach out to people and prevent repercussions,” says Daskalakis. Persons eligible for mpox vaccination should receive two doses. Everyone should be aware of the risks, even those who have been previously infected with mpox. “If you get a weird rash, it could be smallpox, get tested,” he said, adding that testing is much more plentiful and accessible than it was last summer.
From Daskalakis’ point of view, it looks like a storm is brewing. A combination of low vaccination coverage, only partially protective prior immunization, and parties in warm weather may provide an opportunity for mpox to spread, but there are ways to limit the impact of the storm. “Models are our attempts to predict the future, and actions are our ability to change the future,” he says. Improving vaccination coverage and awareness among those at risk could prevent a summer vaccination surge.