Monkey pox disproportionately affects blacks, Latin Americans, recent shows of CDC crash

As of July 22, 2,891 cases of monkey pox had been reported in the United States, approximately two months after the first case was reported in that country. Case report forms with additional epidemiological and clinical information were submitted to the CDC in 41% of these cases, although not all details were complete in all of these forms.

Of the cases with available data, 94% were of men who reported recent sexual contact or close intimate contact with another man. More than half (54%) of the cases were black and Hispanic, which account for approximately one third (34%) of the total US population. According to a CDC analysis, the share of black cases has increased in recent weeks.

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“Public health efforts should prioritize homosexuals, bisexuals and other men who have sex with men who are currently disproportionately affected in order to prevent and test, while considering fairness, minimizing stigma, and being vigilant about transmission to other populations.” – the report says.

Additional analysis shows that all patients had a rash. However, genital rash has been reported more frequently in the current epidemic than in ‘typical’ monkey pox. It was the most common location of the rash (46%), followed by the arms (40%), face (38%), and legs (37%). More than a third of the cases with available data reported a rash in four or more regions.

However, the early signs of the disease are less common in the current epidemic compared to “typical” monkey pox. About 2 in 5 cases started with a rash – but no tell-tale symptoms such as chills, headache, or malaise were noted. About 2 in 5 also did not report a fever.

The authors of the report emphasize that anyone with a rash consistent with monkey pox should be tested for the virus, regardless of sexual identity, gender, or the presence of other symptoms.

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Among the cases for which data were available, less than 1 in 10 (8%) required hospitalization for monkey pox. No deaths have been reported.

Of those for whom vaccination status was available, 14% received the smallpox vaccine, including 3% who received a single dose of Jynneos during this outbreak. At least one person with monkey pox had symptoms more than three weeks after the first dose of Jynneos.

A “significant percentage” of monkey pox cases have been reported among people with HIV, who may be at greater risk of developing severe disease. Further analysis of this group is ongoing, according to the CDC.

The agency says it “continually assesses new evidence and adjusts response strategies as information about changing case demographics, clinical features, transmission and effectiveness of vaccines becomes available.”

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