Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Warning doctors A new mpox, formerly known as monkeypox, cases, summer meetings warned that could lead to a “resurgence” of the potential danger across the country on Monday.
Public health experts interviewed by ABC News warned that the LGBTQ community, which will be disproportionately affected by the 2022 pandemic, should be aware of the signs and symptoms ahead of Pride Month celebrations in June.
In the year Mumps cases have fallen since peaking in the summer of 2022, with the World Health Organization calling the epidemic an emergency on Thursday – but the virus has not completely disappeared.
“Although the prevalence of monkeypox is at its lowest level since last year, the coming summer months characterized by large gatherings will increase the risk of local outbreaks,” said John Brownstein, Ph.D., chief innovation officer at Boston Children’s Hospital, an ABC News contributor.
“The most important message is that Mpox is not gone,” Dr. Richard Silva (MD, MPH, CPH), associate program director of the Infectious Diseases Fellowship and assistant professor of medicine (infectious diseases) at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, told ABC News.
Mepox infection is usually not life-threatening. It usually appears as a painful rash, and some people experience flu-like symptoms.
The new CDC warning comes on the heels of a cluster of cases in Chicago, where health officials say there were 12 confirmed cases and one probable case between April 17 and May 5.
A spokesperson for the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) told ABC News that they are in close contact with people who have tested positive and are working with other health departments and the CDC on an ongoing investigation.
Meanwhile, health officials in cities like Chicago and San Francisco, as well as New York state, are ramping up vaccination efforts for mpox as we approach the summer months and upcoming Pride events.
“We’ve been working with community partners to spread awareness about this revival and vaccination opportunities; [International Mr. Leather]pride, related and other events,” said a CDF spokesperson.
None of the Chicago pox patients were hospitalized, but nine cases were among fully vaccinated individuals.
Experts caution that many vaccines, including the Mpox, reduce the risk of infection but do not completely eliminate the risk. Vaccination is still encouraged as fully vaccinated people can expect less severe symptoms.
Chicago health officials currently do not recommend additional doses for people who are fully vaccinated. Both unvaccinated and vaccinated people should avoid close skin-to-skin contact with someone who has pox, according to the CDC.
“It’s important to remember that vaccines — while incredibly important — are not our only way to reduce the risk of contracting Mpox,” Silla said. Other risk-reduction strategies include “avoiding social and sexual contact if you have a new skin lesion, and asking your close contacts if they’re experiencing symptoms or new skin changes,” Sylla said.
In the year The 2022 global mumps epidemic disproportionately affected gay and bisexual men, but anyone can get or spread mumps, regardless of their sexual orientation or how they identify. It is easily spread through skin-to-skin contact, usually during sex. It is not easily spread by casual contact, such as touching common surfaces like elevator buttons or brushing against someone.
The CDC says only a quarter of Americans are vaccinated, and it urges those at high risk to get vaccinated.
The CDC recommends the mpox vaccine for people with known exposure, which includes close physical contact or sexual contact with someone who has an mpox rash. Also CDC It is also recommended Vaccine given to people at high risk for HIV, gay, bisexual, and MSM who have had more than one sexual partner or recent sexually transmitted infection.
“Vaccination remains the most effective way to protect against monkeypox, but so far only a few people have received the vaccine. Increasing vaccination coverage will contribute to reducing the spread of monkeypox,” Brownstein said.
“The good news is that we have many tools to help prevent mumps, including vaccination, as well as strategies to reduce your risk when you’re out and about this winter,” Sylla said. With the vaccine, Silverra said, “Our best tool is communication: telling people you’re in close contact with if you’re experiencing Mpox symptoms, asking if they’re experiencing symptoms, and listening to updates from public health organizations as we learn more.”