USA Becomes The Monkeypox Capital Of The World
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The US overtook Spain this week, with data showing on Wednesday (27 July) that 1,048 new cases had been confirmed, taking the country’s total number of cases to 4,639.
Previously, Spain had the most confirmed monkeypox cases worldwide, with 3,738 people having been diagnosed with the viral disease.
Reporting on the figures, MailOnline notes that the new figures mean that by population, the US has around one case per 100,000 people while Spain has seven per 100,000.
The above figures take into account the fact that America has seven-times more people than Spain.
On Wednesday, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that the uptick in cases across the pond is likely due to an increase in testing, with the US having increased swabbing from 10,000 to 80,000 per week.
America's response to monkeypox has been called ‘underwhelming’, with the Economist pointing out on Wednesday that testing in the States has been ‘sub-par’.
For example, at the beginning of July, New York - which has a third of the US’ cases - was only testing ten people a day.
Vaccination was also delayed by the Food and Drug Administration, with the FDA taking almost two months to approve more than a million doses from a pharmaceutical facility in Denmark.
UNILAD has approached the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for comment.
On 23 July, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared monkeypox a public health emergency of international concern.
Here in the UK, government figures updated on Tuesday (26 July) said there were 2,208 laboratory confirmed cases.
Monkeypox is a viral infection which can be transmitted by sexual contact and can transfer via close contact such as direct contact with infected skin lesions or through saliva and other respiratory secretions.
The virus is related to variola virus, the virus that causes smallpox, and is not found in the wild in the UK and Europe.
There are two different strains, in the Congo Basin & West Africa, with the former being the more severe. The UKHSA has said the patients in the UK have the West African strain.
Humans will usually initially pick up the monkeypox virus through contact with infected bodily fluids of rodents such as rats, mice and squirrels found across West and central Africa.
According to Connor Bamford, a virologist at Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland, there is about a 10 percent chance of onward spread.
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