Posted BY: Sputnik

The first documented case of the monkeypox virus was in Boston, Massachusetts, on 19 May 2022.

The United States became the fourth country, outside the African continent where the virus is endemic, to experience the outbreak in 2022, declaring it a public health emergency on 4 August.

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As of 22 August, the monkeypox virus has spread to all 50 states in the United States, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Wyoming became the final state in the country to report a case of the virus on Monday.

The single case of monkeypox is from a male resident in Laramie County, according to a news release by the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH).

The WDH added that state public health representatives have been monitoring the infected individual’s contacts.

“Because monkeypox spreads through close, intimate contact we do not believe the risk for the virus is now a higher concern for the local community or for most people in Wyoming. Monkeypox does not spread easily like familiar viruses such as influenza or COVID-19,” Alexia Harrist, a state health officer and state epidemiologist stated.

According to Harrist, vaccination is the best way to “prevent further spread” of the virus.

The monkeypox virus usually spreads through close physical contact, including sexual contact, with an infected individual. The virus can enter the human body through broken skin, the respiratory tract, eyes, nose and mouth, and via bodily fluids.

Monkeypox symptoms are initially flu-like, including a fever, headache, chills, muscle aches, tiredness and swollen lymph nodes, which are then followed by a widespread rash. Although rarely fatal, it can cause serious illness in some people.

“Anyone can become ill with monkeypox, but vaccine eligibility is currently limited to people who are at highest risk in connection with this outbreak and how it is spreading. The goal is to put available vaccine supplies to the best possible use,” Harrist added.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over the past week, the US saw the largest increase in monkeypox infections of any country.

As of 22 August, there are 15,433 reported cases in the US. It is most prevalent in the state of New York where there are about 3,000 reported cases. The US documented its first case of the 2022 outbreak in Boston, Massachusetts, on 19 May 2022.

The Department of Human and Health Services officially declared monkeypox a public health emergency in the country on 4 August.

The administration of President Joe Biden has been under fire for its slow response to the outbreak. However, it is now planning to get the disease under control by giving out the JYNNEOS vaccine. On 9 August, the US Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization for the two-shot Modified Vaccinia Ankara (MVA) jab made by Bavarian Nordic.

The effort rests on a new and untested strategy of dividing full doses to stretch the limited stockpile of vaccines in the country. The new injection strategy is to allow shallow injections, intradermally, between layers of the skin, with one-fifth the standard dose size instead of subcutaneously, into the fatty layer below the skin, with the larger dose. There are also plans to accelerate the production of the monkeypox vaccine.

Monkeypox is a zoonotic disease (spread between animals and people) that originates in animals like rodents and primates and is endemic to remote parts of central and west Africa.

More than 35,000 cases of monkeypox have been reported worldwide throughout 90 countries and territories, according to the WHO, which considers monkeypox to be a moderate global health risk. The WHO declared the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern in July 2022.

The US, Spain, Brazil, Germany, the UK, France, Canada, the Netherlands, Peru and Portugal are believed to be the 10 worst affected countries.