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Monkeypox cases declining, but racial disparity widens

Monkeypox cases declining, but racial disparity widens
Monkeypox cases declining, but racial disparity widens

 


Washington — The White House said Wednesday it was optimistic about a decline in monkeypox cases and an increase in vaccination against the infectious virus, despite a worsening racial disparity in reported cases.

Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, the White House’s deputy national monkeypox response coordinator, has pledged to increase vaccination offerings at LGBTQ pride festivals across the country in the coming weeks, saying more than 460,000 doses have been delivered. .

However, there is no end in sight to the spread of the virus.

“Our goal is to control this outbreak in the United States,” Daskalakis said. “We’re making strong progress and we’re actually arming ourselves. Now that supply is no longer an issue, we need to focus on maintaining demand.”

The United States leads the world in infectious diseases, with 21,274 cases reported as of Wednesday, with men accounting for about 98% of cases and about 93% of cases having recent sexual contact with another man. It was a man who said that he had

Monkeypox can cause a rash, fever, body aches, and chills and is spread by close skin-to-skin contact and prolonged exposure to respiratory droplets. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that transgender people who are men or have multiple male sex partners consider vaccination.

The number of cases has slowed after hitting a daily peak of 870 cases on 22 August.

Cases among white men have declined in recent weeks, but the latest available data show infection rates among blacks increased in the last week of August, to nearly 38%. In the early weeks of the outbreak, blacks made up less than a quarter of reported cases.

Latinos are also highly infected, accounting for about one-third of those infected.

The trend reflects public health messages and vaccination Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior research fellow at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, said these communities are not being reached effectively.

“This shows that the intervention needs a major recalibration,” said Adalja. “It’s not as impactful as it should be.”

The Biden administration has struggled to respond to the outbreak since it first appeared in May. A million doses of the vaccine were waiting to be used as a strategic national stockpile, but he only had 2,000 doses in the United States. Delays in shipments and regulations meant waiting months for most of the remaining supply, with men queuing for hours outside clinics in major cities to get shots.

White House officials said Wednesday that they have recovered from some of their early failures, pointing to a recent drop in the number of cases.

Daskalakis said the Biden administration is working to put vaccines directly into the hands of local organizations with ties to the LGBTQ community to increase uptake in black and Latino communities. He noted his efforts at the recent Pride Celebration in Orleans.

“Thousands of people are receiving protection against monkeypox that they might not have otherwise received,” Daskalakis said. shows that.”

Spencer Jenkins, 33, of Louisville, Kentucky, isn’t sure.

Jenkins spent weeks trying to get a vaccine this summer, on long waiting lists in cities hours away, including Washington and Chicago. was vaccinated, one of the few in the city.

“Vaccines are preventative, so you want to get them to everyone,” he said. “All the work is down to queer people trying to get a vaccine.”

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