CDC Activates Emergency Operations Center for Monkeypox Response
Today, CDC continues to lean forward with an aggressive public health response to the monkeypox outbreak by activating its Emergency Operations Center (EOC). This action stands up the CDC’s command center for monitoring and coordinating the emergency response to monkeypox and mobilizing additional CDC personnel and resources. CDC’s activation of the EOC allows the agency to further increase operational support for the response to meet the outbreak’s evolving challenges. It is home to more than 300 CDC staff working in collaboration with local, national, and international response partners on public health challenges. The activation of the EOC will serve to further supplement the ongoing work of CDC staff to respond to this outbreak.
Globally, early data suggest that gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men make up a high number of monkeypox cases. CDC continues to provide guidance and raise awareness among frontline healthcare providers and public health. CDC is also raising awareness of the current situation with the public through its website and social media in addition to direct partner and community outreach.
In June, CDC updated and expanded the monkeypox case definition and continues to encourage health care providers to consider testing for all rashes with clinical suspicion for monkeypox. Health care providers who see a patient with a rash that resembles monkeypox or might be more characteristic of more common infections (e.g., varicella zoster, herpes zoster, or syphilis) should carefully evaluate the patient for monkeypox and should consider testing. Anyone who has risk factors for monkeypox, and a new rash should seek care and testing.
Last week, CDC began shipping orthopoxvirus tests to five commercial laboratory companies, including the nation’s largest reference laboratories, to quickly increase monkeypox testing capacity and access in every community. This development will facilitate increased testing, leverage established relationships between clinics, hospitals and commercial laboratories, and support our ability to better understand the scope of the current monkeypox outbreak.
Demand for the monkeypox vaccine in Texas appears to be growing as cases of the virus are increasingly reported in the state’s metropolitan cities. Clinics that focus on LGBTQ health care say they are getting calls daily from their patients concerned about their risks and hoping to be inoculated.
There is only limited federal supply of the recently approved monkeypox vaccine being distributed as a growing number of states report confirmed cases. In Texas, health officials are allowing doses only for those with known exposure, although other states where counts are higher have gotten more doses than they can use for a broader range of high-risk recipients. Texas officials say they have so far been able to meet the demand for shots by people who have been exposed.
A second case of monkeypox has been confirmed in Cleveland, according to Dr. David Margolius, the city's incoming director of public health.
Last month, the city health department confirmed the first case in the area. There have been four total cases of the viral infection in Ohio and nearly 29,000 cases nationwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). On Saturday, the World Health Organization declared the monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency of international concern.
The mayor of San Francisco announced a state of emergency Thursday over the growing number of monkeypox cases, allowing officials to cut through red tape and fight a public health crisis reminiscent of the AIDS epidemic that began devastating the city in the 1980s.
“We are at a very scary place. And we don’t want to be ignored by the federal government in our need. So many leaders of the LGBT community have also, weeks ago, asked for additional help and support and assistance,” said Mayor London Breed.
The city is in “desperate need of vaccines,” she said.
Men who have sex with men should consider limiting the number of sexual partners they have to reduce their risk of contracting monkeypox, the director-general of the World Health Organization said Wednesday.
Officials in New York City declared a public health emergency due to the spread of the monkeypox virus Saturday, calling the city “the epicenter” of the outbreak.
The announcement Saturday by Mayor Eric Adams and health Commissioner Ashwin Vasan said as many as 150,000 city residents could be at risk of infection. The declaration will allow officials to issue emergency orders under the city health code and amend code provisions to implement measures to help slow the spread.
In the last two days, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul declared a state disaster emergency declaration and the state health department called monkeypox an “imminent threat to public health.”
New York had recorded 1,345 cases as of Friday, according to data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. California had the second-most, with 799.
In addition to temperature checks that are part of standard health screens for prospective donors, the American Red Cross is now checking for the distinctive lesions that are a hallmark of the disease as part of routine arm examinations. And beginning in October, the Red Cross will require individuals who have been diagnosed with monkeypox or exposed to someone with a monkeypox infection to wait at least 21 days before giving blood.
The first recorded case of a person passing monkeypox to a dog could be a harbinger of other animals catching the sometimes disfiguring and deadly virus. If that happens, monkeypox could establish animal reservoirs outside of Africa for the first time.
Two men in France appear to have spread monkeypox to their Italian greyhound, researchers report August 10 in the Lancet. The men reported letting the dog sleep in bed with them.
Safety Alert Regarding Use of Fecal Microbiota for Transplantation and Additional Safety Protections Pertaining to Monkeypox Virus
Recent studies have documented the presence of monkeypox virus DNA in rectal swabs and/or stool samples from infected individuals.1,2,3 One study reports detection of monkeypox virus DNA in rectal swabs from three individuals who reported no symptoms of monkeypox disease, including two individuals who had viable monkeypox virus isolated from rectal swabs.2 This information suggests that monkeypox virus may be transmitted through FMT products, although the risk of such transmission is unknown.
The monkeypox outbreak continues to grow in Cleveland, according to the Cleveland Department of Public Health (CDPH). As of Wednesday, there were 85 cases.
In the last 10 days, cases in Cleveland increased 13%, and there was a 4% increase across the state, according to a CDPH news release.
Cleveland and Cuyahoga County are experiencing more cases that any other city and county in Ohio.
“Cleveland is unique because we have a larger population of men who are Black, have sex with men and have HIV,” said Dr. David Margolius, director of CDPH. “That community is underserved and marginalized. There are less resources that have been specifically designed for them.”