The Latest News: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) declares Public Health Emergency for ongoing spread of monkeypox.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has been tracking the spread of monkeypox (MPV) in the U.S. As of August 4, there were more than 7,100 confirmed monkeypox cases in 48 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, and continuing to increase. As a result, the Department of Health and Human Services declared the monkeypox 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.
Hear the most recent information in the CDC's July 26 Updates on the Epidemiology, Testing, Treatment, and Vaccination call.
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 still fairly 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 is not considered a sexually transmitted infection, but it can be transmitted during sexual and intimate contact, and with sustained personal contact and shared bedding/clothing
Patients may present differently. 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. The AAFP continues to review information from CDC and other health care partners to share with our members.
Family physicians are likely to be among the first health care professionals in the country to care for patients with monkeypox.
The following presentation is designed to address concerns and provide members with guidance and a status update on the outbreak in the United States.
AAFP Senior Vice President of Education, Inclusiveness and Physician Well-Being Margot Savoy, MD, MPH, FAAFP, discusses a variety of topics including diagnosis, treatment options, infection prevention strategies and more.
Watch this free 15-minute video and earn .25 CME credits.
Mark your calendar! Join us for a virtual town hall, “Monkeypox Virus: What Family Physicians on the Front Lines Need to Know.” The town hall will take place on Aug. 9 from 7-8 p.m. Central time.
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).
Vaccines are available for MPV, but widespread vaccination is not recommended at this time. The CDC’s considerations for monkeypox vaccine focuses on MPV vaccines primarily as post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). This means vaccinating people with known exposure to monkeypox to help prevent illness from monkeypox virus. .
MPV vaccine as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PreP) is only recommended for people whose jobs may expose them to monkeypox, such clinical and research laboratory personnel working with monkeypox, and certain healthcare and public health response team members
Two vaccines licensed by the FDA are available for monkeypox:
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
This clinician checklist 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.
Check out the latest news and updates on Monkeypox.