The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating more cases of monkey disease in the United States due to the global epidemic.
The CDC identified nine cases of monkey disease in seven states as of Wednesday, says director Dr. Rochelle Valensky said on Thursday.
Cases have been reported in Massachusetts, Florida, Utah, Washington, California, Virginia and New York.
In most cases, “within gays [and] bisexual men and other men who have sex with men, ”she said. Virginia announced Thursday that she is a working woman in her state.
Valensky called for a “science-driven” approach, not stigma.
“It’s a community that has the power and the ability to address health issues with an emphasis on compassion and science,” he said, referring to the AIDS epidemic.
“Some groups may now have a higher chance of becoming infected, but infectious diseases do not matter at national or international borders. They are not included in social networks and the risk of exposure is not limited to any group, ”he warned.
Valensky called on Americans to “approach this epidemic without stigma or discrimination.”
The CDC is working to learn more about the epidemic: samples of the identified nine cases have been sent to the agency for additional confirmatory testing and genomic testing, Valensky said, and everyone is trying to find out how they became infected.
He said some of the nine cases were international trips to areas where monkeys are active, but others were not.
Officials expect the CDC to search for doctors and Americans quickly for symptoms, and expect more diagnoses.
“We should not be surprised that more cases have been reported in the United States in recent days,” he said. It’s a sign that Americans are really vigilant and that health care workers and public health workers are doing their job, ”he said. Raj Punjabi, senior White House Director of Health and Biodiversity.
As part of this epidemic, the CDC is monitoring several clusters of monkeys that have been reported in several countries that did not report such infections from early to mid-May, including Europe and North America.
Smallpox is rare in the United States, and according to the CDC, the virus is not found naturally in the country. Once a virus is transmitted from an animal to a human, it can be transmitted from person to person through direct contact, such as large respiratory droplets or skin ulcers.
Symptoms of smallpox may include fever, headache, muscle aches, and swollen lymph nodes. One of the features of the disease is that it can cause sores or pustules and rashes on the body, including the palms and soles.
Wallensky said Thursday that the United States has mobilized a vaccine against the monkey disease, which is being registered and plans to relocate the vaccine where it is needed.
“The United States now has the resources it needs to help fight the monkey disease,” he said. We have been preparing for this disease for decades, ”he said.
There are two prophylactic vaccines and two antiviral treatments in the United States that can be used for a family of viruses, including orthopox and smallpox.
“One of these vaccines, under the trade name Jynneos, was approved to prevent monkey disease in people over the age of 18,” Valensky said. “The CDC has mechanisms to promote these products across the country so they can be used for prevention or treatment for people who can benefit anywhere.”
Punjabi said the monkey smallpox vaccine was offered to Massachusetts health workers, who were first diagnosed with the epidemic in the United States last week.
“In Massachusetts, they received it as a Jinneos vaccine on Sunday, and we are recommending it to high-risk or qualified medical personnel under state and CDC leadership,” Punjabi said.
CDC officials recommend vaccinating people at high risk of infection because they are in direct contact with a person with smallpox.
“Currently, when we are in the early stages of this study, we know that the people at the highest risk of infection are those who have been in contact with monkeys. So the people we are now focusing on offering vaccinations are: post-exposure vaccinations, ”he said. Jennifer McQueiston, Deputy Director of the CDC’s Highly Dangerous Pathogens and Pathology Division.
“We are seeing what is happening and wondering if more comprehensive vaccination recommendations are meaningful, but we currently have only nine cases and we have links to the most beneficial ones. vaccines, “McQuiston said.” So we’re concentrating our energy there now. ”