Wednesday 3 August 2022 09:31 PM How monkeypox has spread to almost every American state trends now
Monkeypox has now been detected in almost every U.S. state as cases reached the 6,326 mark across 48 states, the District and Columbia and Puerto Rico — with only Montana and Wyoming not having logged an infection, official figures revealed today.
The national outbreak of the virus has spiraled since the first case was detected in Boston, Massachusetts, in late May. It has consistently surged by more than a hundred cases a day over the last three weeks amid ramped up testing with New York and California having emerged as national hotspots. Alongside Illinois, they have declared emergency states to handle the virus.
Dr William Hanage, an epidemiologist at Harvard University, told DailyMail.com that the virus likely arrived in many states much earlier than when it was officially detected. He points to anecdotal reports from Spain of monkeypox-like patients in February — three months before the outbreak began in Europe.
Hanage warned it was now 'very widespread' and 'not under control' across the United States, and that there was 'huge concern' it could spill over into other groups.
There is mounting concern that monkeypox — which spreads via physical touch — could already be transmitting into more vulnerable groups like children and pregnant women, who are most at risk from serious disease. Five cases have been spotted in under-18s so far and one in a mother-to-be, with experts warning there may be others that are not being picked up because of a lack of testing.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has repeatedly being slammed for its slow response to the virus, failing to ramp up testing quickly to spot cases and to roll out vaccines fast to stymie the tide of cases.
The above map shows the states that have reported monkeypox infections up to August 2nd, the latest date available. It reveals that almost every one has now detected it except Montana and Wyoming
MAY 18 (left) and JUNE 8 (right): The above maps show which states have detected cases of monkeypox virus, as it began to spread across the United States
JUNE 22 (left) and JULY 6 (right): The virus was detected in yet more states and in larger numbers following celebrations for Pride. It has mostly been detected among gay or bisexual men
JULY 20 (left) and JULY 27 (right): The CDC starts to report far more cases once testing is ramped up. It has recorded more than a hundred every working day for the past few weeks
The CDC has made monkeypox a nationally notifiable condition starting August 1, making all states and localities report case figures to federal officials each day. They hope is that this will not only give Americans a more accurate daily look at the state of the virus, but also smooth out reporting figures each day.
So far almost every infection has been detected in men, with the vast majority also identifying as gay or bisexual. But there are signs that the disease — spread via physical touch — may now be spreading to other groups.
Within a week of the first case being reported in a man who had recently returned from Canada, New York and Florida both reported their first patients.
By the end of June more than half of U.S. states — or 34 — said they had detected the virus at least once. Cities including New York and Washington D.C. began to administer vaccines against the disease to gay or bisexual men to quell the growing outbreak.
A second child in California is thought to have been infected with monkeypox, health officials revealed today taking the U.S. tally to five.
The youngster — under 17 years old — presented with unspecified symptoms of the virus at a clinic in Los Angeles.
They received treatment, and have since recovered, they said.
It is likely they became infected from a 'household contact', like in two other cases in children.
Cases among children are sparking concern because those less than eight years are at heightened risk of severe disease and death if they catch the virus.
Two cases were reported in children in Indiana this week, although no further information was given.
A case has also been reported in a toddler in California and a baby that was travelling through Washington D.C.
But the rollouts were dogged by delays receiving doses and there being too few to meet the 'enormous' demand to get inoculated.
Into July the situation only worsened with the U.S. infection tally crossing the milestone of 1,000 cases within the second week of the month. By the end of this month 48 states — even Maine, Vermont and Alaska — had all picked up the infection.
Cases spiraled over this month as testing capacity expanded from 1,000 to 10,000 swabs a day — with New York alone recording infections in four figures by the end of the month.
A record 1,048 cases were reported on July 27, but the CDC said this surge was down to 'historical cases' being reported mostly from California — which had not updated its count for days.
The growing sense of crisis led San Francisco to become the first city to warn it would declare an emergency over the outbreak.
Days later it was followed by New York City, alongside the states of New York, Illinois and California as a whole. No declaration has yet been made at the federal level though it has reportedly been considered by the Biden administration.
Several patients have been hospitalized so far — in some cases only because they could not isolate at home — but no deaths have been reported in the U.S..
There have been ten to date globally, including four outside Africa — with four in Spain and one each in Brazil and India.
Commenting on how the virus had spread, Hanage told DailyMail.com: 'We are not necessarily seeing spread, what we are seeing here