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Monkeypox patients in Boston and NYC sought medical treatment SEVERAL times in early May

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Two men who eventually became America’s first two cases of monkeypox had sought treatment for rashes and warts several times before doctors finally tested them for the virus in mid-May, after an outbreak began in Europe, the CDC reveals.

A report released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) outlines a timeline for how these early cases were initially missed by local doctors, and the gap between patients noticing symptoms and ultimately being told they were infected. .

The first patient, in the Boston, Massachusetts area, first developed a rash around his anus and genitals on May 4, days before cases of the virus first appeared in Europe. He was not tested for monkey pox until he was hospitalized due to severe pain.

A man from New York City had also had a rash on May 4. Doctors thought it was a sexually transmitted infection (STD) and did not consider the rare virus until the case was announced in Massachusetts.

The CDC report released Friday considers the most recent data as of May 31. This includes 17 confirmed cases of the virus, 16 of which were in men who have sex with other men.

Officials said at a briefing Friday they had now confirmed 20 cases in the Americas and more than 700 around the world. There have also been no deaths from the virus linked to this outbreak.

All US patients are recovering or have already made a full recovery. Patients who have the virus are told to remain isolated until their scabs fall off the lesion and are replaced with new skin.

The outlier case not involving a gay or bisexual man comes from the Northern Virginia region, where officials confirmed a case involving a woman who had recently traveled abroad.

Two different strains have been found in the US, with a vast majority of cases corresponding to the same strain found across Europe in recent weeks.

Both species are of the less severe West African variety. Two different strains imply that there were multiple animal-to-human transmissions of the virus that eventually led to US cases.

Last year, two cases of monkeypox were discovered in the US — one in Texas and one in Maryland — that were also from different strains, and the same two strains currently circulating in America.

One US case is not linked to international travel or any known human-to-human transmission. The CDC has not disclosed where that case was discovered.

Monkeypox will show itself as small lesions that appear on a person's body, though officials warn they can be subtle and easy to miss (file photo)

Monkeypox will show itself as small lesions that appear on a person’s body, though officials warn they can be subtle and easy to miss (file photo)

CDC officials assured the public that the country has a sufficient supply of monkeypox vaccines to cope with an impending wave of the rare virus (file photo)

CDC officials assured the public that the country has a sufficient supply of monkeypox vaccines to cope with an impending wave of the rare virus (file photo)

Monkeypox was first discovered outside of West and Central Africa – regions where it is endemic – on May 7 in a person in the UK who had recently traveled to Nigeria.

Days earlier, on May 4, a man in Massachusetts who had recently returned from international travel developed an anogenital rash.

This rash eventually spread to his face. The following week, he would seek medical attention four times, each time ruling out common causes for these types of lesions.

On May 12, the man was hospitalized due to excruciating pain caused by his rash. Shortly afterwards, on May 17, local officials notified the CDC of this man’s condition — after seeing coverage of a similar case in the UK.

He tested positive for the orthopox virus family on May 17, and the CDC confirmed he had monkey pox a day later.

Also on May 4, a New York City man with recent international travel history developed an oral lesion and a painful rash.

Reduce your number of sexual partners to fight monkey pox, urges World Health Organization

People should reduce their number of sexual partners to help fight the spread of monkeypox, the World Health Organization urged Wednesday.

dr. Hans Kluge, the head of the WHO’s European branch, has warned that the current outbreak of the tropical disease “may not be manageable”.

He warned that Europe had become the new epicenter of the virus, with the outbreak linked to sexual transmission at raves and festivals across the continent.

dr. Kluge insisted the virus “will not require the same extensive population measures” as Covid, but said “significant and urgent” action was needed to prevent more cases.

He added that while the cases have been concentrated in men who have sex with men, there was nothing to prevent its spread to other groups.

When he sought medical attention, he was tested for STDs and sent home. The rash started to spread and other STD tests came back negative.

After hearing the case in Massachusetts, New York City officials notified the CDC of the matter. Over the next few days, he would test positive for monkey pox and go into isolation.

In the days that followed, cases of the virus would spread across America, including at least three others in New York City, three in Sacramento County, and others across 11 US states.

At least one of these patients was treated with tecovirimat, an antiviral drug designed to fight smallpox, but also effective against monkeypox, from the country’s strategic stockpile.

Because smallpox—a virus that has been eradicated for decades—and monkeypox are both orthopox viruses, many treatments against the former also work against the latter.

Contact tracing efforts have been launched to control the spread of the virus, and officials have detected hundreds of exposed people in regions where confirmed cases have been found.

These included 56 people considered to be at high risk of contracting the virus, 117 at moderate risk, and 235 at low risk based on possible exposure levels.

There are two available vaccines against the virus, which are distributed to close contacts of the infected and people who work in health care who may be exposed to the virus.

One is JYNNEOS, a vaccine that can be administered both before and after exposure to the virus to be effective. Last week, CDC officials made plans to disperse the shots to health professionals and those exposed.

America is believed to have about 1,000 doses of the two-dose vaccine, although CDC officials say that figure has shifted since they last released figures last week — meaning the country has been buying more of the injections. It is the preferred vaccine for fighting the rare virus.

ACAM2000 is an older vaccine designed to prevent smallpox – much like JYNNEOS – and is only effective after exposure to the virus. The U.S. is reportedly stockpiling more than 100 million doses of the shots, a figure that the CDC also says may have changed.

It also has a higher reported risk of side effects associated with it.

The CDC reports that a state with detected cases of the virus has chosen to request ACAM2000 rather than the preferred JYNNEOS to handle their close contacts.

Officials reiterated that the country has “more than enough” vaccine doses to deal with the current outbreak.

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