Epidemiologic and Clinical Characteristics of Monkeypox Cases

Monkeypox, a zoonotic infection caused by an orthopoxviral, is endemic in parts of Africa. On August 4, 2022, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared the U.S. monkeypox outbreak, which began on May 17, to be a public health emergency (1,2).

Among 2,891 cases reported in the United States through July 22 by 43 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia (DC), CDC received case report forms for 1,195 (41%) cases by July 27. Among these, 99% of cases were among men; among men with available information, 94% reported male-to-male sexual or close intimate contact during the 3 weeks before symptom onset.

Among the 88% of cases with available data, 41% were among non-Hispanic White (White) persons, 28% among Hispanic or Latino (Hispanic) persons, and 26% among non-Hispanic Black or African American (Black) persons.

Forty-two percent of persons with monkeypox with available data did not report the typical prodrome as their first symptom, and 46% reported one or more genital lesions during their illness; 41% had HIV infection.

Data suggest that widespread community transmission of monkeypox has disproportionately affected gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men and racial and ethnic minority groups.

Why it This Important: This monkeypox epidemic has caught us all by surprise Thought to be a disease of gay me: now women and children are getting it. For a disease that everyone recovers from and where the vaccine is 100 % effective, it certainly has gained a lot of attention. There is even a movement to change the name to MPK. I guess that sounds better. My concern is that while monkeypox is gobbling up the headlines. Few people are talking about other real medical issues, like the impact of Covid 19 killing 500 people per day, not vaccinating children, hypertension, diabetes, and the high cost of health care. We should not ignore the Monkey Pox epidemic but pay attention to other medical issues as well.

For more information, visit the CDC.

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