The United States had reported 2,891 cases of monkeypox as of July 22, about two months after the country reported its first case. For 41% of these cases, case report forms with additional epidemiological and clinical information were submitted to the CDC, but not all details in all of these forms were complete.
Of the cases for which data were available, 94% involved men who reported recent sexual or intimate contact with another man. More than half (54%) of the cases were black and Hispanic, a group that makes up about one-third (34%) of the total U.S. population. The proportion of cases among blacks has increased in recent weeks, according to an analysis by the CDC.
“Public health efforts should prioritize prevention and testing of gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men who are currently disproportionately affected, while addressing equity issues, minimizing stigma, and maintaining awareness among other populations Spread vigilance,” the report’s authors said.
Further analysis showed that all patients had a rash. However, genital rashes are reported more frequently in the current outbreak than “classic” monkeypox. This was the most common site of rash (46%), followed by arms (40%), face (38%) and legs (37%). Of the cases for which data were available, more than one-third reported rashes in four or more areas.
However, early warning signs of the disease in the current outbreak are less common than “typical” monkeypox. In about two-fifths of cases, the disease begins with a rash, but no prodromal symptoms, such as chills, headaches or malaise, are reported. Fever was also not reported in about two-fifths of the cases.
The report authors stress that anyone who develops a rash consistent with monkeypox should be tested for the virus, regardless of gender or gender identity or the presence of other symptoms.
Of the cases for which data were available, less than one in ten (8%) required hospitalization for monkeypox. No deaths were reported.
Of those with available vaccination status, 14% were vaccinated against smallpox, and 3% received a dose of Jynneos during this outbreak. At least one monkeypox patient developed symptoms more than three weeks after the first dose of the Jynneos vaccine.
A “significant percentage” of monkeypox cases have been reported in people with HIV, who may be at higher risk for severe disease. Further analysis of the group is underway, according to the CDC.
“As information becomes available about changing case demographics, clinical characteristics, transmission and vaccine effectiveness, it continually evaluates new evidence and adjusts response strategies,” the agency said.