Monkeypox Central Command: CDC Takes Monitoring Disease To New Levels

By Pamela Glass | Thursday, 30 June 2022 01:15
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expanding its observation system to follow the monkeypox outbreak in the United States by activating the agency’s Emergency Operations Center.

The EOC is a federal command center that scans disease outbreaks and prepares the deployment of emergency response measures. It includes over 300 CDC staff working with local, national, and international response partners in public health matters and informs emergency responders on how to stay safe during public health emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic. The agency activated the EOC in January 2020 in response to the global coronavirus outbreak.

“CDC’s activation of the EOC allows the agency to further increase operational support for the response to meet the outbreak’s evolving challenges,” the CDC said Tuesday. “The activation of the EOC will serve to further supplement the ongoing work of CDC staff to respond to this outbreak.”

The global outbreak of monkeypox, which is assumed to have had its origin in two raves in Europe last month, has grown rapidly in recent weeks. As of June 22, over 3,400 laboratory-confirmed cases and one death due to monkeypox across 50 countries and territories have been reported to the World Health Organization. That is an hike of 1,310 new cases and eight new countries since June 17.

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In the U.S., over 240 total cases of monkeypox have been reported across 27 states, according to CDC tracks. The Biden administration has begun delivering doses of vaccines that prevent orthopoxvirus, the family of viruses that includes monkeypox. The U.S. has enough doses of the two types of vaccines to administer to millions of people if need be, the CDC said earlier this month.

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“Globally, early data suggest that gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men make up a high number of monkeypox cases. CDC continues to provide guidance and raise awareness among front-line healthcare providers and public health,” the agency said Tuesday.

The country’s strategic national stockpile currently carries 100 million doses of an older-generation smallpox vaccine, ACAM2000, as well as 72,000 doses of the newer Jynneos vaccine, which has been shown to be 85% effective against monkeypox. The government is also expected to obtain another 300,000 doses of the Jynneos vaccine from manufacturer Bavarian Nordic within the next several weeks, with another order of 500,000 doses to be filled and delivered later this year. The company also has 1 million doses for the U.S. on hold to be distributed if necessary.

There have been 1,600 confirmed cases of monkeypox globally, according to the World Health Organization, which will convene an emergency meeting next week to determine whether the outbreak constitutes a global health emergency.

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