Survey shows gay men are now cutting back on sexual activity to avoid the virus.
There appears to be some good news related to the monkeypox outbreak. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that case numbers have fallen in several major cities.
“We’re watching this with cautious optimism, and really hopeful that many of our harm-reduction messages and our vaccines are getting out there and working,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky told reporters Friday during an update on the monkeypox outbreak.
Although monkeypox cases are still increasing nationally, the speed of the outbreak appears to be slowing, Walensky said. The U.S. has reported nearly 17,000 monkeypox cases since May, more than any other country in the world, according to CDC data.
In New York City, which has reported more infections than any other jurisdiction, new monkeypox cases have dropped from more than 70 per day on average to nine as of Thursday, according to data from the city health department.
…We’re not seeing the potentially exponential growth that we were seeing early on so that is reassuring,” said Dr. Allison Arwady, Chicago’s public health commissioner, during a Facebook live event earlier this week. “Too early to say things look really good, but definitely some signs of slowing of cases.”
This development may result from accepting science and data over narratives by the impacted population. A recent survey among American gay and bisexual men in early August found that about half cut down on sexual activity in response to the global monkeypox outbreak.
The survey, conducted online Aug. 5-15, was led by Kevin Delaney, of the Monkeypox Emergency Response Team at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“These findings suggest that men who have sex with men are already taking actions to protect their sexual health and making decisions to reduce risk to themselves and their partners,” Delaney’s team reported.
The timing of the survey — and its finding that America’s gay male community reacted swiftly to the monkeypox threat — coincides with a recent global decline in monkeypox cases.
According to World Health Organization data released Thursday, the number of monkeypox cases around the world dropped by 21% over the prior week.
According to the CDC, nearly 17,000 cases of the viral illness have been reported in the United States. The vast majority of cases are occurring among gay and bisexual men.
Unfortunately, pediatric cases are occurring…including one involving an infant under 1.
Across the country, at least 18 children in 10 states have now tested positive for monkeypox, according to state and local health officials, and little is known about most of these cases, due to concerns over patient privacy.
One of these cases has been identified in King County, Washington, where local officials recently confirmed that an infant in their community had tested positive for the monkeypox virus.
The child has been hospitalized and receiving treatment for the virus in recent days after being exposed to monkeypox through an infected family member, officials said. The child did not become infected in a school, child care, or other public setting.
Officials from Seattle Children’s Hospital confirmed to ABC News that their teams are currently caring for the infected baby, who is under the age of 1.
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