DC has the most monkeypox cases per capita


Washington, DC has more monkeypox cases per capita than any state, prompting public health officials to launch an aggressive vaccination campaign aimed at covering communities most at risk.

Since Friday, health services were reporting 122 positive cases in DC, 44 in Virginia and 37 in Maryland, but DC public health officials say there are more people infected than the data shows because not everyone with symptoms are not tested.

New York, California, Illinois and Florida lead the nation in the number of recorded cases, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with case counts of 489, 266, 174 and 154, respectively.

DC Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) — at a press conference Monday outside Whitman Walker Health, which specializes in LGBTQ and HIV care — said district officials were working administer the vaccine quickly and encouraged residents to pre-register free appointments at PreventMonkeypox.dc.gov.

Nearly 800,000 doses of monkeypox vaccine could be in the United States by the end of July

The district received about 8,300 doses, most of which arrived last week, and about 2,600 first doses of the two-dose schedule have been administered, she said.

DC Chief Health Officer LaQuandra Nesbitt said Monday that by far the hardest hit community is people in their early 30s who are in the LGBTQ-plus community, but she stressed that the virus can infect anybody.

“It’s important that we don’t create stigma at this time and that we encourage individuals to be on the lookout for symptoms,” she told reporters on Monday.

CDC allocates doses of Jynneos, the only vaccine specifically approved to prevent monkeypox, based on the number of confirmed cases cases of monkeypox and the size of the population of men who have sex with HIV-positive men.

DC was among the first group of recipients and received significantly more vaccines than neighboring states. The district expects to receive an additional 4,000 doses next week and is looking for partners, especially those serving the black LGBTQ community, to host pop-up clinics, Nesbitt said.

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Patrick Ashley, senior deputy director of the DC Department of Health, said Friday that the district has not recorded any biologically female cases.

A few district residents were hospitalized for pain control, but no one was hospitalized directly due to monkeypox complications, he said.

“Monkey pox can be exceptionally painful, especially if there are lesions on the penis, a lot of penis swelling, on the anus as well, it can be very painful,” Ashley said. “It’s not chickenpox.”

He encouraged people to be vigilant in monitoring themselves and their sexual partners for any unusual skin conditions.

“If they see anything odd on their body, whether it’s a rash, a lesion, or something that doesn’t look right, they tell their provider,” a- he declared. “People may be afraid to tell their doctor about things on their body that could be monkeypox or something else. We want people to feel comfortable seeking care.

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District contact tracers had identified about 560 close contacts, but the true number is higher, Ashley said. Officials recognized from the start of the global epidemic that due to the nature of the population most affected – people with multiple partners and those having anonymous sex – it would be impossible to contact everyone who might be affected. be at risk. In response, DC designed the vaccination effort to cover the protective community.

“Part of the reason we’re doing expanded post-exposure prophylaxis is that very reason,” Ashley said. “We know about these exposures in the community, but we can’t track them down and say you’re at risk.”

As of Friday, 7,600 residents had pre-registered for the vaccine, he said.

Of those vaccinated, 99% are male, 99% are gay or bisexual, 76% are between the ages of 25 and 39, and 76% are white, while 83% are non-Hispanic, Ashley said.

About 3,000 appointments were opened Thursday and Friday, more than 2,600 were booked, Ashley said. The vaccine is currently available in DC to district residents age 18 or older who are men who have sex with men and have had multiple or anonymous sexual partners in the past 14 days; transgender women or non-binary people designated male at birth who have sex with men; sex workers or staff in public baths, saunas and sex clubs. Proof of residency is required.

District officials are encouraging people who do not currently meet the strict eligibility criteria to pre-register for any future eligibility extensions.

As with the coronavirus, contact tracers track individuals as well as potential outbreaks.

For example, a bathhouse in Logan Circle, Crew Club DC, held a private event in early June that resulted in some infections. The organizer, Mass Collab, sent an email to attendees about two weeks later to inform them that “a small number of known attendees” have tested positive or have been contacted by a health service about possible exposure.

Mass Collab tweeted that private events will be postponed until at least September 21 to allow people to get vaccinated. When events resume, full vaccination will be mandatory.

“In terms of how our community is coping, the symptoms have been very painful and it has been frightening for everyone involved, Mass Collab said in a statement. “It’s brand new to everyone in our community, so we’re learning about all of its symptoms and transmissibility as quickly as possible.”

Outside the district, local public health departments are preparing for another vaccine delivery, but on Friday they did not know how many doses they would receive or when.

In Maryland, the health department received 682 doses and, in turn, redistributed 200 doses to the three most at-risk jurisdictions: the city of Baltimore and Montgomery and Prince George counties, the spokesperson said. Chase Cook.

In Virginia, the health department received 3,925 doses and 70 doses were administered on Friday, said Laurie Forlano, deputy director of the office of epidemiology. Health departments in northern Virginia, where most of the state’s cases are concentrated, have already received doses, she said.

“Amounts will be relatively low at the moment, both to take into account supply and to ensure there is no wastage and we are still trying to get an idea of ​​demand here,” she said, adding that the state will likely redistribute vaccines using criteria similar to those of the CDC. “The numbers are increasing but it’s hard to say what the trajectory will be.”

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