New York City has become the monkeypox capital of the U.S., with nearly 20% of the nation’s reported cases.
What Happened: According to the New York Post, the city recorded 119 cases as of Wednesday. That's up 50% from last week.
Across the U.S., at least 605 cases have been confirmed; none of the cases have resulted in fatalities and the disease is easily treatable with vaccines. In the U.S., the antiviral drug Jynneos from the Danish biotech company Bavarian Nordic BVNRY was approved in 2015 as a monkeypox treatment.
Monkeypox is related to smallpox, but it is considered far less serious. Signs of monkeypox include fever and body aches followed by a rash of red bumps that become pus-filled blisters that crust over.
The disease was first identified in 1958 in laboratory monkeys in Copenhagen, Denmark, and the first known cases were confirmed in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) in 1970. Human infections were limited to central and western Africa until 2003, when the first non-African outbreak was recorded in the U.S., with the source traced to imported rodents from Ghana sold in pet stores.
A new wave of monkeypox infections beyond Africa began this spring, with cases being reported across Europe, North America and Australia.
Why It Happened: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention determined the virus can spread through contact with body fluids as well as respiratory droplets and contaminated objects.
The New York Post speculated that the uptick in New York City-based cases could be linked to the recent LGBTQ Pride Month festivities. However, the city’s health department refuted the link to the Pride Month activities.
“Anyone can get and spread monkeypox,” said the city’s health department in its latest recent public guidance.
Photo: Arek Socha / Pixabay
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