Confirmed Cases of Monkeypox Surpass 10,000 in the United States


Getty Monkeypox

The United States has passed 10,000 reported cases of monkeypox.

As of Thursday morning, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there are a total of 10,392 reported cases in the country of the virus. Meanwhile, Canada has 957 cases and Mexico has 91, according to an international map.

Together, the three North American countries represent nearly one-third of all reported cases worldwide — 31,800 — spanning 89 countries total including at least one country on every continent, except Antarctica.

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared monkeypox a public-health emergency last month, with WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus saying in a statement, "In short, we have an outbreak that has spread around the world rapidly, through new modes of transmission, about which we understand too little, and which meets the criteria in the International Health Regulations."

"For all of these reasons, I have decided that the global monkeypox outbreak represents a public health emergency of international concern," he added.

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A man receives a dose of the Monkeypox vaccine
A man receives a dose of the Monkeypox vaccine

ALAIN JOCARD/POOL/AFP/Getty Man getting monkeypox vaccine

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On Tuesday, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a "Section 564 declaration" in regards to monkeypox, "allowing [the U.S. Food and Drug Administration] to use its authority to allow health care providers to administer up to five times the number of vaccine doses per vial of JYNNEOS vaccine" amid a supply shortage.

"FDA subsequently granted Emergency Use Authorization for the JYNNEOS vaccine to be administered intradermally — enabling the current vaccine supply to increase five-fold without sacrificing safety and quality," the White House added in an official release.

A small dose can be used with intradermal injection because the vaccine is "staying in the skin; you're not going through the skin," Dr. Daniel Griffin, an infectious disease specialist at Columbia University, told CNN.

The method — previously used for flu and rabies vaccines — produces an immune response due to dendritic cells which are found in the skin. "The skin has special cells that are very good at helping a vaccine stimulate the body's immune system," epidemiologist Dr. Jay Varma told the network.

As of Wednesday, the U.S. has shipped more than 630,000 doses of the monkeypox vaccine to states and jurisdictions.

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The first cases of monkeypox were identified in 1958 in colonies of monkeys, hence the name. The first human case of the virus was reported in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Monkeypox symptoms are often mild, with the first signs including fever, headache, muscle aches, chills and exhaustion, following a seven to 14-day incubation period. After about one to three days, infected people will experience a rash, typically on the face, before it spreads to other parts of the body. The rash eventually turns to fluid-filled blisters that scab over in about two to three weeks.

The virus can spread through direct contact with body fluids or the popped blisters. The main form of transmission is through respiratory droplets, but it would require prolonged contact with an infected person.

Although there is no exact treatment for monkeypox, the virus typically clears up on its own. However, a dose of the smallpox vaccine has been known to improve symptoms if administered shortly after infection.