Released on Aug. 18, the White House plan accelerates the national response to the monkeypox outbreak and mitigating the spread of the virus. Highlights include:
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has been tracking the spread of monkeypox (MPV) in the U.S. As of Aug. 19, there were 14,115 confirmed monkeypox cases, and they're continuing to increase.
The Department of Health and Human Services declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency. After experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic, people are concerned and want to know what it means to their families.
Clinicians should be alert for patients who have rash illnesses consistent with monkeypox, regardless of travel or specific risk factors for monkeypox and regardless of gender or sexual orientation. View CDC FAQs for specific questions.
The CDC describes monkeypox as a rare, infectious disease that is most often mild. Monkeypox virus is part of the same family of viruses as smallpox and is endemic in certain African countries. It's not as easily transmittable as viruses like COVID-19.
The risk of monkeypox infection for the general population is low. Early data from the outbreak suggested that men who have sex with men made up a high proportion of total cases; however, anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has monkeypox is at risk. Monkeypox can be transmitted during intimate contact and by sustained personal contact and shared bedding/clothing.
Patients with monkeypox may present differently and features of the newest monkeypox cases could be confused with sexually transmitted infections (STI). The CDC offers clinical recognition guidance for distinguishing monkeypox from other rash illnesses, or other infections. It also includes information on identifying monkeypox rash characteristics, incubation period, isolation procedures and treatment.
Given the latest data on the spread of monkeypox and new evidence about risk of severe illness in people with HIV, CDC is encouraging clinicians to test for co-infection with STI’s in patients who meet one or more of the epidemiologic criteria. It is also encouraged that clinicians include monkeypox on their differential diagnosis for patients presenting with an STI-associated or STI-like rash.
This presentation is designed to address concerns and provide members with guidance and a status update on the U.S. outbreak.
AAFP Senior Vice President of Education, Inclusiveness and Physician Well-Being Margot Savoy, MD, MPH, FAAFP, discusses diagnosis, treatment options, infection prevention strategies and more.
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Most infected people have mild cases, but there is risk for serious disease.
Sometimes, people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms. Others only experience a rash.
There are no treatments specifically for monkeypox virus infections. However, monkeypox and smallpox viruses are genetically similar, which means that antiviral drugs and vaccines developed to protect against smallpox may be used to prevent and treat monkeypox virus infections.
Tecovirimat is a smallpox treatment being used as a first-line medication to treat monkeypox. Tecovirimat has been made available under the expanded access investigational new drug (EA-IND) from the Strategic National Stockpile.
For more information, see CDC’s website for Interim Clinical Guidance for the Treatment of Monkeypox and Obtaining and Using TPOXX (Tecovirimat).
The risk to most people from monkeypox remains low, and there are ways to reduce risk even more. The CDC offers guidance on social gatherings and safer sex practices. They also offer tips on infection prevention in healthcare settings.
Two vaccines licensed by the FDA may be used for the prevention of monkeypox disease – JYNNEOS and ACAM2000. Widespread vaccination is not recommended at this time. The CDC’s interim considerations for monkeypox vaccine recommends that vaccination be considered for people at high risk for infection to prevent monkeypox disease.
The FDA has also issued an EUA for the emergency use of JYNNEOS for:
View a video on how to administer a JYNNEOS vaccine intradermally.
The CDC has released considerations for the clinical management of monkeypox in children and adolescents younger than 18 years old. These are intended to help U.S. clinicians and health systems develop a plan for managing children and adolescents with exposure to monkeypox, suspected monkeypox, or confirmed monkeypox.
CDC/AAMC Clinicians’ Checklist: Clinical Assessment of Patient with Suspected Monkeypox
Includes information on:
Public Health Collaborative: Answers to Tough Questions
Public Health Collaborative has updated Answers to Tough Questions with new messaging to help you answer questions like “What is monkeypox?” and “How does monkeypox spread?”
World Health Organization: Monkeypox
With its origin in Africa, and as cases are increasing in multiple countries, MPV is considered a global outbreak. WHO has additional resources you can reference.