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White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci cautioned against making assumptions about the global monkeypox epidemic, citing choices made early in the HIV-AIDS epidemic.
In an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Fauci and Dr. H. Clifford Lane write that the epidemiological pattern of the emerging cases bears “striking similarities” to earlier HIV/AIDS cases— — including most monkeypox cases this year. Outbreaks have been found in men who have sex with men.
The virus is typically spread through direct skin contact from the affected site, and the researchers noted that there is evidence that transmission requires prolonged or repeated contact.
People can also become infected by touching infected clothing or bedding.
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Notably, health officials stressed that the virus is not considered a sexually transmitted infection, but advised men considered to be at high risk of contracting the disease to reduce the number of sexual partners and avoid group or anonymous sex.
During the HIV-AIDS pandemic, the couple noted that the microbes responsible for the disease were unknown and, unlike today, there were no countermeasures like a vaccine.
“Given how little we know about the epidemiology of the current epidemic, it is prudent to consider observations made in the first year of the HIV/AIDS pandemic: “…our society is effectively a Assumptions. Therefore, additional detailed epidemiological and observational cohort studies, serological investigations, and ongoing surveillance of new cases are critical,” insists Fauci and Lane, associate director of clinical research and special programs at NIAID. Fauci will step down in December. White House Chief Medical Adviser and Director of NIAID.
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The challenges ahead, they say, are to ensure effective and equitable access and distribution of countermeasures, as well as the rigorous research necessary to determine possible clinical effectiveness, identify any potential safety concerns, and guide appropriate use.
“Lessons learned during the AIDS and COVID-19 response should help us to develop a more effective and efficient response to monkeypox, which in turn should help prepare us for the next Inevitable disease informs. Emerging or re-emerging infectious diseases. Pandemic potential,” the couple concluded.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are nearly 17,000 confirmed cases of monkeypox and orthopoxvirus in the U.S. and 46,724 confirmed cases globally.
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The number of reported cases globally fell by 21% last week, according to the World Health Organization.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.