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US is releasing monkeypox vaccine from national stockpile for ‘high risk’ people, CDC says


There is one confirmed case of monkeypox and four suspected cases in the United States, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Monday.

“I can report that there has been a request to release the Jynneos vaccine from the national stockpile for some of the high risk contacts of some of the early patients, so this is actively happening right now,” said Dr Jennifer McQuiston, assistant. director of the Division of High Consequence Pathogens and Pathology within the CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, said Monday.

McQuiston said the United States has a “good stockpile” of vaccines as it prepares for the possibility of needing to use doses for smallpox.

In the United States, the two-dose Jynneos vaccine is licensed to prevent smallpox and specifically to prevent monkeypox.

“Right now we have over 1,000 doses available, and we expect that level to increase very rapidly in the coming weeks as the company provides us with more doses,” McQuiston said.

There is another smallpox vaccine licensed in the United States, ACAM2000, that could be used to prevent monkeypox, she said, and the country has more than 100 million doses.

“ACAM2000 is an older generation smallpox vaccine that has significant potential side effects. So a decision to use it widely should have a serious discussion behind it,” McQuiston said.

Overall, “we hope to maximize the distribution of vaccines to those who we know would benefit,” she said. “These are people who have been in contact with known monkeypox patients, healthcare workers, very close personal contacts and those in particular who may be at high risk of serious illness. »

The confirmed case of monkeypox in the United States involves a man from Massachusetts, and the four cases of orthopox involve men in New York, Florida and Utah, according to the CDC. Orthopox refers to smallpox viruses in general.

McQuiston said health care providers should assume these orthopox cases are monkeypox.

“It is likely that there will be additional cases reported in the United States,” she said.

McQuiston said the CDC expects to receive samples from the four suspected cases “today or tomorrow” for further analysis. Laboratories in the CDC’s Laboratory Response Network can test for an orthopox virus, and then confirmation of monkeypox is specifically done at the agency through PCR tests, which take “a few hours” to run, it said. she declared.

“From the moment the CDC receives a sample, we could do our confirmation PCR tests for monkeypox probably the same day. can get the initial results from the LRN lab,” McQuiston said.

CDC sequencing of the sample from the confirmed case in Massachusetts went “very quickly” and within 48 hours researchers were able to see that it closely matched that of a case in Portugal.

“This process used to take up to two weeks, but we were able to release it in two days because we believe this type of public sharing of early sequence data is going to be important for all countries so that we can all better understand how the virus is spreading across the world,” McQuiston said.

Monkeypox is not transmitted through sex itself, but can be transmitted through contact during sex, said Dr. John Brooks, chief medical officer for HIV prevention at the CDC.

“Monkey pox is not a sexually transmitted infection in the typical sense, but it can be transmitted during sexual and intimate content, as well as personal contact and shared bedding and clothing,” Brooks said Monday. Many of those affected by the latest virus outbreak are gay and bisexual men, he said.

Brooks said the rash “appears in different parts of the body that we would typically expect to see,” including the genital and perianal area.

“In some cases it has produced anal or genital lesions that resemble other illnesses like herpes, chicken pox or syphilis. So, anyone with a rash or lesion around or involving their genitals, anus, or any other place they haven’t seen before, get a full evaluation, both for that rash, but more importantly for sexually transmitted infections and other diseases that can cause skin rashes,” he said.

“What we’re trying to do by bringing attention to the fact that some of these cases have had genital and perianal presentation is just to remind people that people can come in for an assessment of what they think. be an STD, but we’d like the provider to think ‘could it also be monkeypox?’ if the circumstances match the story. »

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