Topline

The United States is releasing vaccines that can prevent monkeypox from its national stockpile, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials said Monday, after at least one U.S. resident tested positive for the rare disease.

Highlights

More than 1,000 doses of Jynneos, a monkeypox and smallpox vaccine approved for adults, are currently in the Department of Health and Human Services’ Strategic National Stockpile, CDC officials said during a briefing. a Monday afternoon call with reporters.

The United States has accumulated a “good supply” of Jynneos in anticipation of potential smallpox outbreaks, CDC disease specialist Dr. Jennifer McQuiston said Monday, even though smallpox has been eradicated for decades.

The stockpile contains more than 100 million doses of the ACAM2000 smallpox vaccine, McQuiston said, although it can cause significant side effects, including heart inflammation.

The federal stockpile also contains smallpox antivirals which, while not approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat monkeypox, may be permitted under certain circumstances, a DHSS spokesperson said. Forbes in a statement last week.

To monitor

The available supply of Jynneos is expected to increase as manufacturers ramp up production, McQuiston said.

Key context

The first human case of monkeypox was identified in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and since then the disease has become endemic in parts of West and Central Africa. Some countries that don’t usually experience monkeypox outbreaks began reporting a handful of confirmed and suspected cases in May, including up to 30 confirmed cases each in Portugal, Spain and the UK and up to five cases each confirmed in Canada and Australia. On Wednesday, the United States reported its first monkeypox case of the year: a Massachusetts resident who tested positive after returning from Canada. Additionally, one person in New York, one in Florida and two in Utah are presumed to have caught monkeypox after testing positive for orthopoxvirus, a genus of virus that includes monkeypox, McQuiston said. The CDC is also monitoring at least six people for potential monkeypox infection after being exposed to someone with monkeypox while traveling. The strain involved in the recent cases has been linked to outbreaks in West Africa and appears to be spreading primarily among men who identify as gay or bisexual, CDC officials said Monday. Monkeypox can enter the body through broken skin, respiratory tract, and mucous membranes like the eyes, nose, and mouth, and can also be spread through animal bites or scratches. The disease is usually mild and initially causes symptoms such as fever and headache, followed by the formation of a rash that can lead to pustules, crusts and discoloration. In Africa, monkeypox can be fatal in 10% of cases, according to the CDC.

Tangent

Modern announcement on Twitter on Monday that he is doing preclinical investigations into possible monkeypox vaccines.

Further reading

“Monkeypox Outbreak Sparks New Bill Gates Conspiracy Theories as #BillGatesBioTerrorist Trends” (Forbes)