Monkeypox is a growing global concern affecting everyone – Vax Before Travel

(Vax before the trip)

Since early May 2022, cases of monkeypox virus disease have been reported in countries where the disease is not endemic, and continue to be reported in several endemic countries, says the World Health Organization (WHO).

This is the first time that cases and clusters of monkeypox have been reported simultaneously from non-endemic regions in widely disparate geographic areas around the world.

Most confirmed cases of monkeypox have no travel history to Africa, where the virus is endemic.

As of July 22, 2022, more than eighty-five countries have reported approximately 17,388 cases.

And in the United States, the US CDC has now confirmed approximately 2,600 patients with monkeypox during this ongoing outbreak.

Given the daily increase in new cases, many health experts fear that this outbreak could become another pandemic, similar to COVID-19.

But, unlike the COVID-19 pandemic, US FDA-approved monkeypox (MPX) vaccines and treatments are available today.

However, the European CDC reported in early July 2022 that mass vaccination against MPX is neither required nor recommended.

Unless contact tracing can successfully identify a high proportion of infected contacts, mathematical modeling results indicate that targeted pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) of individuals at increased risk of exposure would be the most effective strategy to use. vaccines to control the epidemic.

Therefore, prioritization of groups of men at high risk of exposure and front-line staff at risk of occupational exposure should be considered when developing vaccination strategies.

The modeling also suggests that vaccinating contacts with post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) would offer a slightly more efficient approach if there were both higher uptake levels and more efficient tracing (because fewer vaccines would be needed to a relatively more significant increase in the probability of controlling epidemics per person vaccinated).

In contrast, the absolute probability of epidemic control with PEP vaccination is even lower than with PrEP vaccination.

In settings where the vaccination rate is higher, PEP vaccination of close contacts of cases should also be considered, or even ring vaccination.

Of these, contacts at high risk of developing serious illness, such as children, pregnant women, and immunocompromised people, should be prioritized.

As of July 22, 2022, there are two vaccines licensed by the United States Food and Drug Administration to prevent monkeypox infection – JYNNEOS® (Imvamune or Imvanex) and ACAM2000®.

The JYNNEOS vaccine is in high demand in the United States.

Yet the federal government has limited inventory to meet needs in key cities, such as New York, Washington, DC and Chicago.

These cities and others are holding vaccination events to improve PrEP goals.

For example, there are about 17,000 first-dose vaccination appointments available in New York City this weekend, which should fill up quickly, according to NYC Health.

And if you have already received the first dose, you will be contacted to schedule the second dose of vaccination in the coming weeks.

If necessary, you can wait more than four weeks between doses.

To reduce the risk of getting and spreading monkeypox virus, if you have a new or unexpected rash or sore, do not have close physical contact with anyone until you have spoken to a healthcare provider, says NYC Health.

Previously, WHO released Situation Report 1 on July 6, 2022. WHO then released a “moderate” risk assessment for the global monkeypox virus outbreak.

On July 23, 2022, WHO is expected to report on the 2nd meeting of the IHR Emergency Committee regarding the multi-country outbreak of monkeypox. Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of WHO, and other senior officials are expected to offer their views and suggested actions, such as access to vaccines, testing and travel restrictions.

Additional news on the monkeypox outbreak is posted at this web link.

Vax-Before-Travel publishes verified, research-based vaccine information curated for international travelers.

Teresa H. Sadler