There has been a recent uptick in mpox diagnoses in Chicago, some of them in people being vaccinated against the virus, which could lead to an increase in cases among gay and bisexual men over the summer. concerns have arisen.
On Monday, Howard Brown Health, an LGBTQ-focused clinic in Chicago, reported eight new cases of mpox, formerly known as monkeypox, since April 17. Health sector for the last three months.
Public health experts, as well as other cases of infections transmitted through sexual contact, have reported increased exposure to mpox during the summer, especially as gay and bi men travel to pride festivals and other major LGBTQ events. We have expressed cautious concern that cases may increase.
Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, Deputy White House Domestic MPOX Response Coordinator, said: “Vaccines are not perfect, but they are really important tools.”
Dr Rosamund Ruiz, technical director of mpox at the World Health Organization, said eight countries, including France and some in East Asia, have seen a “slight increase” in diagnosed cases in the past three weeks. said. About half of the recent French cases were in vaccinated people.
Otherwise, number of cases worldwide It continues to decline after peaking in early August. Since mid-April, only 21 of the 111 countries reporting cases during the outbreak have reported new diagnoses, Lewis said. However, many cases may go undetected, she said.
Chicago’s weekly mpox case rate is the highest since early November.according to Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Preventionupdated biweekly, the United States has had 17 or fewer diagnoses on a seven-day moving average since mid-February.
Howard Brown’s Clinic is analyzing new cases to determine if they are part of a related cluster of infections.
Inadequate Mpox vaccination coverage
Seven of the eight newly diagnosed patients were gay or bisexual men, said Leanna Gordon, M.D., medical director of preventive medicine at Howard Brown. 1 had not been vaccinated, 1 had had her 1 dose of her Jynneos vaccine of her 2 doses, and 6 had been fully vaccinated.
All eight cases were mild and none required pain management. Even with breakthrough infections, vaccines are still likely to reduce the severity of infections, Gordon said.
Gordon emphasized the importance of people at high risk for mpox getting two doses of the Jynneos vaccine to protect themselves and their sexual partners.
“One of our main concerns is that the population at risk is not being vaccinated,” Gordon said. I was not.”
According to the CDCmore than 1.2 million doses of the Jynneos vaccine have been administered to 725,000 people nationwide, 90% of whom are men. Estimate Only one in four of the most at-risk people are fully vaccinated, including gay and bi men and transgender people.
Two doses of Jynneos vaccine reduced the risk of mpox disease by 69% and one dose was 37% effective. CDC reported in DecemberUpdated figures are expected next week.
Public health experts have expressed concern that mpox could spread further across the country after the gay-popular International Mr. Leather Festival took place in Chicago later this month.
Daskalakis said the CDC is working with Howard Brown and other local partners to leverage the event to promote mpox prevention and awareness.
“We need to maintain vigilance and promote and provide free vaccinations,” said Jeffrey Klausner, Ph.D., an infectious disease specialist at the University of Southern California.
symptoms of mpox
Mpox, which has an incubation period of 3 to 17 days, appear typically As a rash or lesion. Other potential symptoms are:
- swollen lymph nodes.
- muscle pain.
- sore throat.
In France, national health authorities recently reported Of the 19 diagnoses in the Center-Val de Loire region up to 3 April this year, 16 have been made since 1 March, all but one involving sex between men. It was a man doing Ten of his cases were in fully vaccinated persons. Six had her Jynneos vaccine her two doses, four had the smallpox vaccine in childhood and had the Jynneos vaccine recently.
Any chance of mpox making a comeback this summer?
last summer Occurrence of mpox It was reduced by a combination of vaccination, post-infection immunity, and behavioral changes in gay and bi men.
Infectious disease experts believe that pre-existing immunity from previous infections and vaccinations is likely to prevent the spread of mpox at the same level as last year.
However, the duration of immunity and the fact that gay men many people reported Women who reduced the number of sexual partners or practiced abstinence last summer returned to baseline behavioral patterns after a dramatic drop in mpox cases.
“Everyone’s efforts have contributed to controlling the outbreak, but it hasn’t gone away,” Lewis said. she, there is evidence That mpox can spread both before symptoms start and from people who have not developed symptoms.
Dr. Mark C. Chamier, a resident in clinical microbiology at the University Medical Center Rotterdam in the Netherlands, found that about 45% of gay and bi-men who visited sexual health centers in Rotterdam and Amsterdam in September had a family member, Orthopox. reported having detectable antibodies to the virus. mpox belongs to.
“But this level of immunity is not enough to stop the virus from circulating completely, so sporadic outbreaks of monkeypox are expected.”
“Large events such as the annual pride party can increase the number of sexual contacts between risk groups, which can lead to increased circulation and transmission of the virus,” said Chamier.
Chamier expects the number of cases to be relatively low compared to last year due to testing, isolation of cases and increased levels of mpox immunity among risk groups.
Daskalakis said the recent incident in Chicago amounted to “not a call to panic, but a call to action.”
“We have the tools to handle this,” he said. “We have to get it done.”