Experts warn that the United States may soon lose control of monkeypox

Experts warn that the United States could soon lose control of monkeypox due to lack of testing and limited access to vaccines

  • Some experts warn monkeypox could spiral out of control due to failings by health officials
  • Testing capacity in America is still limited even more than a month after the outbreak began in late May
  • Access to vaccines is being improved by officials, but some still complained of limited supplies and a lack of information available
  • The United States has recorded 460 cases of the tropical virus, although the actual case numbers are likely to be much higher

Some experts warn that gaps in monkeypox testing and vaccine coverage will leave the United States vulnerable to losing control of its tropical virus outbreak.

Public health officials from the National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD) and George Washington University (GW) warn that a fractured and lacking response to the outbreak so far can have serious consequences.

Previous experts have warned that the virus has likely been spreading undetected in the United States for some time, and fears that it could become endemic in the country are not under control any time soon.

As if on Friday – the most recent data available – the United States had recorded 460 cases in 31 states and the District of Columbia. Iowa also reportedly recorded its first case over the weekend, though Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) numbers have yet to reflect that.

“Where we’ve fallen behind is streamlining testing, making vaccines available, streamlining access to the best therapies,” NCSD executive director David Harvey told The Hill.

“All three areas have been bureaucratic and slow, meaning we haven’t contained this outbreak.”

So far, testing for the virus has been a slow and arduous process. When a patient begins to show symptoms of the virus, they are first screened for the orthopox family of viruses.

The lineage includes monkeypox – as well as the extinct smallpox virus – and anyone who tests positive is likely to have the tropical infection.

The first American to go public with his monkeypox infection is a gay actor in Los Angeles

The first US monkeypox patient to go public with his battle with the tropical virus has criticized health officials for “lackluster” work in testing for the virus, which has left many cases undiagnosed.

Matt Ford, a freelance actor who splits his time between Los Angeles and New York, has spoken out to warn people that the disease “sucks” and that they should take it “seriously”.

He blasted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for their poor testing efforts, saying it took officials three days to diagnose his illness, at which point he “already knew” what they would say.

Revealing his diagnosis to Buzzfeed, Ford said he caught the virus after having “skin-to-skin contact” with another patient.

The actor and writer, who describes himself as a “proud and openly gay man”, revealed he first noticed stains in and around his “underwear area”, which told him that he had caught the virus.

Over the next few days, they spread to the rest of her body, including her face, arms, hands, and abdomen.

In total, he counted 25 points and said after appearing that they had started to “fill with pus” and were itchy. Several – especially in the “sensitive area” – became so painful that they kept him awake at night without taking painkillers.

In order to confirm a case of monkeypox, samples must be sent to the CDC for testing, where they are then confirmed.

However, testing is slow. Access to these tests is also limited. This has many experts fearing that cases will go undetected.

The federal government has taken steps to increase capacity, but access to testing is still relatively limited.

There have also been cases detected so far unrelated to international travel or another case of the virus – meaning there is ongoing undetected circulation of the virus.

“We kind of screamed for a month about how bad the diagnostic situation is for monkeypox,” James Krellenstein, co-founder of Prep4All, told The Hill.

“And that was really a clear, avoidable mistake, and it’s very clear that this administration failed to learn the lessons of the onset of Covid.”

The rollout of the vaccine in the country has also come under scrutiny.

US authorities have ordered around 4.4 million doses of the Jynneos vaccine – including an additional 2.5 million last week.

Getting the shots in the arms was a challenge, however. New York City held its first public vaccine event two weeks ago — ahead of Pride festivities in the Big Apple — but demand for shots was so high that senior officials had to cut appointments short. you without an appointment in a few hours.

People waiting at the clinic for the vaccine told that barely a thousand available doses were “ridiculous” in a city of almost eight million people.

Other impatient recipients accused officials of giving “contradictory” information about how to get bitten.

Some experts compare the currently halted response to monkeypox to that of COVID-19 when it first erupted in March 2020.

“I think we will continue to make those mistakes because that’s our track record. That’s been our track record,” said Jon Andrus, professor of global health at GW.

“We’ve had, what, more than five or six waves of Covid, and each time we seem to be a bit caught off guard, … stopping transmission requires that we all read from the same page. We all have the same roadmap.


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