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Monkeypox Emergency Orders are due to expire but eradication is unlikely

When the monkeypox public emergency declaration expires at month’s end, San Francisco will not renew it.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, daily cases of the virus have fallen eightfold in the past two months. They were around 400 on average on Aug. 19, and 50 on Wednesday.

Stephen Morse, an epidemiology professor from Columbia University, said that while we don’t want prematurely declare victory, it does seem as though we are winning.

Also, other cities and states will now have to decide whether or not they want to extend their emergency orders.

The order for New York City expires Sunday and the one for New York State on Thursday. Neither has indicated whether they will be renewed. The order in Illinois expires on November 2, and the state’s health department stated that it continues to review the order every thirty days. California Department of Public Health stated that the state does not plan to lift its order.

Morse stated, “When we remove emergency declarations, it lowers the fear level but also reduces awareness and the availability of resources.” He added, “I wish there was a better way we could tell people, “It’s still not over, but it seems like it’s improving, and we should continue funding it and remain vigilant.”

Experts said that it is unlikely that monkeypox will be eradicated in the United States.

Amira Albert Roess is a George Mason University professor of global health epidemiology. She said, “It would have been foolish to believe that we’re going out to eliminate it.” “We have to accept that we are now in a new phase of monkeypox history. This is the next phase, where we will see outbreaks now and then.

Experts are hopeful that the U.S. will eventually see no more monkeypox cases in a short time. However, they warned that new infections could occur as the virus is still being transmitted to other parts of the globe. It can also be found in animals such as prairie dogs and squirrels, where it could then spread to humans.

Morse stated that “hopefully it won’t manage to sustain itself in animals here,” in which case it can be said that it has gone here and will not need to worry about it until next time. “That’s the best scenario.”

There have been a few new cases of monkeypox.

Monkeypox is still most common in men who have had sex with other men. The virus spreads primarily through close contact during sexual activity.

The U.S. has increased monkeypox vaccinations to more than 970,000 doses as of Tuesday. Recent cases tend to be among immunocompromised patients, according to Dr. Stuart Isaacs.

This group might be at greater risk of not receiving the same vaccines as others.

This could be the reason for six monkeypox cases in New York City, Chicago, Maryland, and Nevada this week.

Maryland’s health department stated that the patient who died was immunocompromised. Chicago’s department claimed that both of those who died were patients who were diagnosed over six weeks ago and had multiple health conditions including weak immune systems. New York City didn’t provide details on the deaths and Nevada claimed that it was due to other causes.

California, Texas, and Ohio each reported one monkeypox-related death since the outbreak began.

It could have been worse

Experts believe that a combination of behavioral changes and vaccinations — such as reducing the number of partners with whom they are sexually active — helped to stop the spread of the virus.

Isaacs stated that the main risk factors are education, testing, and vaccination.

However, all three experts pointed out flaws in U.S. responses.

Doctors had to order tests at public health laboratories to diagnose the cases.

The U.S. stockpiles of Jynneos (a preventative two-dose vaccine for smallpox/monkeypox) were not enough to keep up with the spread of the disease.

According to the CDC, people who have not been vaccinated are at 14 times greater risk of contracting the disease than those who received at least one dose.

The U.S. did not order any more Jynneos dosages until June, even though it was already spreading in May. More than 1,000,000 doses were held at a manufacturing plant over the summer while they awaited inspection from the Food and Drug Administration.

It’s only after an outbreak has occurred, not after the fact that we have the resources we need. Ross stated that this is unfortunately the reality in American public health.

Racial inequalities also persist in vaccine distribution. Therefore, monkeypox cases are disproportionately concentrated in Black and Hispanic communities. According to the CDC, more than 30% of vaccines have been administered to whites, while less than 14% has gone to Hispanics and less than 8% went to Black people.

However, the outbreak has provided health officials with valuable information about the effectiveness of monkeypox vaccines, treatments, and other useful information. This information will prove to be helpful when the U.S. can identify a new case.

The FDA allowed healthcare professionals to administer half of the original Jynneos dose in August to make the best of limited vaccine supplies. The shot must be administered below the skin’s top layer, not into the fat layer between the skin and muscles. Morse stated that early data suggest that the new technique might work.

The U.S. is collecting the first-ever real-world data on the effectiveness of Tpoxx, an antiviral drug approved for smallpox treatment.

Morse stated that the monkeypox outbreak could have been worse despite the U.S. delays and failures.

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