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Opinion Monkeypox is spreading. We must move quickly, avoid past mistakes to protect LGBTQ people.

00:31  05 august  2022
00:31  05 august  2022 Source:   usatoday.com

'I Warned About Monkeypox and Gay Men, Things Haven't Changed Since AIDS'

  'I Warned About Monkeypox and Gay Men, Things Haven't Changed Since AIDS' "It has always been that way" needs to change.Monkeypox is a brisk and awful virus causing blisters to form around the genital areas, including the face, and even in the eyes. Although this particular disease is spread among men who have sex with men, it is also transmitted through skin-to-skin contact.

More than 7,200 cases of monkeypox have been reported this year in dozens of countries, including over 600 cases in the United States, largely but not exclusively in men who have sex with men. While it is not as contagious as COVID-19, monkeypox could easily gain a foothold in communities now suffering from the latest spread of the disease.

If we do not contain this outbreak, the risk of the persistence of monkeypox among gay, bisexual and transgender people is likely. That is, it will dig its roots into these communities, making this a disease LGBTQ communities will have to live with for a long time.

About 1 in 5 Americans concerned about contracting monkeypox, poll finds

  About 1 in 5 Americans concerned about contracting monkeypox, poll finds Story at a glance A new survey reveals Americans are growing concerned about the risks of the monkeypox virus. Monkeypox is considered rare but has been spreading rapidly, with about 5,000 cases identified in the U.S. The virus’ symptoms include fever, headache and rash that can look like pimples or blisters that develop all over…One in three Americans worry about catching COVID-19 in the next three months, while 1 in 5 are also concerned about contracting monkeypox, according to a new survey by the Annenberg Public Policy Center.

This disease is spread by close physical contact – not sexual contact per se – so other places in which close physical contact is common will be at risk. It's like how a methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus outbreak among gay men can spread to health clubs – think contaminated towels, benches – but this could jump to other settings of high physical contact or contact with contaminated clothing and bedding, such as homeless shelters.

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Monkeypox: It's not a matter of whether it will spread widely. We need to focus on when.

We can stop this outbreak in its tracks with vaccination, together with a surge public health response that helps countries quickly test and trace cases. That means all the countries who need the vaccine need access to it now.

Spain reports 2nd death from monkeypox

  Spain reports 2nd death from monkeypox BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Spain reported Saturday a second death in as many days from monkeypox. These are believed to be the first confirmed fatalities from the disease in Europe since its recent spread beyond Africa. The ministry based in Madrid said both fatalities were young men. It reported its first death on Friday, the same day that Brazil also reported its first death from monkeypox. The global monkeypox outbreak has seen more than 22,000 cases in nearly 80 countries since May. There have been 75 suspected deaths in Africa, mostly in Nigeria and Congo, where a more lethal form of monkeypox is spreading than in the West.In the U.S.

Coordinating serves our interests

Some countries, like the United States, have already begun administering vaccines to monkeypox cases and their contacts in a strategy called "ring vaccination." And some have started vaccinating individuals at higher risk.

But vaccines aren't as readily available in some other countries, including parts of Central and West Africa where monkeypox outbreaks have been documented in recent years.

Monkeypox is here and spreading: But the US is well prepared to handle the threat.

Promoting equitable access to vaccines is an act of self-interest. Limited vaccine access could allow the virus to establish deeper roots in more countries, increasing the risk of new outbreaks for years to come.

Ring vaccination eradicated smallpox and helped contain Ebola outbreaks. We can move now to help contain monkeypox.

The White House announced a new domestic monkeypox vaccination plan last week. As the United States begins to deploy vaccines to contain another new viral outbreak, it is critical that we ensure they are available to everyone who needs them at home and around the world. We cannot repeat the mistakes we saw with COVID-19.

Under fire, US officials say monkeypox can still be stopped

  Under fire, US officials say monkeypox can still be stopped WASHINGTON (AP) — The country’s monkeypox outbreak can still be stopped, U.S. health officials said Thursday, despite rising case numbers and so far limited vaccine supplies. The Biden administration’s top health official pushed back against criticism about the pace of the response and worries that the U.S. has missed the window to contain the virus, which has been declared a global emergency. “We believe we have done everything we can at the federal level to work with our state and local partners and communities affected to make sure we can stay ahead of this and end this outbreak,” Xavier Becerra, head of the Department of Health and Human Services, told reporters on a ca

This photo provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was taken in 1997 during an investigation into an outbreak of monkeypox, which took place in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It shows a patient who was displaying the characteristic rash during its recuperative stage. © BRIAN W.J. MAHY, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention This photo provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was taken in 1997 during an investigation into an outbreak of monkeypox, which took place in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It shows a patient who was displaying the characteristic rash during its recuperative stage.

For many years, monkeypox rarely spread out of regions in which it is endemic, in West and Central Africa. This new, widely dispersed global outbreak is unprecedented. Sharing supply with other countries in the short term will be critical.

Stockpile should be shared

The Food and Drug Administration has approved one vaccine to prevent both smallpox and monkeypox: Jynneos, developed by Bavarian Nordic, which has a longstanding partnership with the U.S. government.

Compared with the other stockpiled smallpox vaccine, Jynneos produces fewer side effects, is easier to administer and can be given to more people. But the world's only factory for producing the bulk of the Jynneos vaccine shut down last year for construction, which means that only stockpiled material can be converted into finished vaccines.

Biden taps FEMA and CDC officials to lead monkeypox response

  Biden taps FEMA and CDC officials to lead monkeypox response The appointment of a White House coordinator and deputy coordinator to deal with monkeypox mirrors the Biden administration's response to COVID-19.The White House said Biden would announce Tuesday that he has tapped Robert Fenton, who helped lead FEMA's mass COVID-19 vaccination effort as the agency's acting administrator when Biden first took office, as the White House coordinator on monkeypox.

That makes the U.S. stockpile particularly important: The United States owns more than 1 million finished Jynneos vaccine dosesand has placed orders for 3 million more finished doses. Not counting those orders, America owns enough bulk vaccine substance for more than 10 million additional vaccine doses.

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Unless the United States shares its enormous stockpile, the vast majority of the world will have to rely on the bulk vaccine substance owned by the company itself – which amounts to just "several million" doses – until next year.

Notably, America once promised the world it would share stockpiled doses: In 2004, concerned about a smallpox outbreak, Washington pledged to make millions of doses available to the World Health Organization in an emergency. Now, the same kinds of vaccines are needed against monkeypox.

Make more vaccine doses

In addition to sharing doses, ramping up production will also be vital. The most acute need is to convert the stockpiled bulk vaccine substance into finished vaccines. The United States can surge staff and supplies at the Bavarian Nordic site and enlist facilities to convert the bulk vaccine substance into finished vaccines through the Defense Production Act.

Andy Cohen Slams Government's 'Abysmal' Monkeypox Response, Warns His 'Gay Brothers' to Stay Safe

  Andy Cohen Slams Government's 'Abysmal' Monkeypox Response, Warns His 'Gay Brothers' to Stay Safe Andy Cohen shared a video urging the public not to stigmatize the gay community amid the current monkeypox outbreak as the virus can spread among all demographicsAndy Cohen is speaking out about the current monkeypox outbreak.

As with COVID-19 tools, patents and intellectual property concerns should not stand in the way of responding to this new global health crisis.

'Bursts of sharp jabbing pain': What it's like to have monkeypox – and the fight against stigma

Prudence also demands building and diversifying the capacity for vaccine production. We might be able to contain this outbreak by sharing existing supply, but the need for monkeypox vaccines could also increase.

While public health officials are largely vaccinating exposed individuals and close contacts among men who have sex with men, this could shift if the outbreak drags on and monkeypox makes inroads into new demographic groups around the world, potentially requiring a far larger pool of people to be vaccinated.

Funding a network of distributed vaccine manufacturing and transferring technology can stand up the regional infrastructure needed to respond quickly to new outbreaks. At least one site can be located in Africa, where monkeypox has spread for years but was largely neglected by the global community.

Zain Rizvi is a research director in the Access to Medicines Program at Public Citizen. Gregg Gonsalves is an associate professor of epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health. © Provided Zain Rizvi is a research director in the Access to Medicines Program at Public Citizen. Gregg Gonsalves is an associate professor of epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health.

For COVID-19, we failed the test – with America and a handful of countries hoarding vaccines, stumbling in our own quest to get people tested and traced early on.

We can do better this time, making sure that the entire world has the tools to quash this new viral outbreak and fight monkeypox.

Zain Rizvi is a research director in the Access to Medicines Program at Public Citizen. Gregg Gonsalves is an associate professor of epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Monkeypox is spreading. We must move quickly, avoid past mistakes to protect LGBTQ people.

Monkeypox: Have we learned nothing from AIDS or COVID? .
The nation seems blissfully ignorant to the early warning signs of an outbreak that bears striking resemblance to the start of COVID-19 and the AIDS epidemic. © Provided by The Hill Monkeypox is surging. As of today, 16,000 cases have been reported across 75 countries. That marks a five-fold increase in total cases worldwide since the WHO met in June. In the U.S., across 44 states, 2,891 cases have been reported. The U.S.

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