Author Topic: MONKEYPOX VIRUS  (Read 1210 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline theschnauzers

  • RFF Moderator
  • RFF Frantic Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 4268
  • An original TARfly
MONKEYPOX VIRUS
« on: June 14, 2022, 06:23:59 PM »
It appears the WHO is moving to rename the monkeypox virus and label it as a public health emergency of international concern.

From CNN:

https://www.cnn.com/2022/06/14/health/who-monkeypox-public-health-emergency-international-concern/index.html

CNN)The World Health Organization will convene an emergency committee meeting to assess whether the monkeypox outbreak is a public health emergency of international concern, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a news briefing in Geneva on Tuesday.

"I think it's now clear that there is an unusual situation, meaning even the virus is behaving unusually from how it used to behave in the past," Tedros said. "But not only that, it's also affecting more and more countries, and we believe that it needs also some coordinated response because of the geographic spread."
WHO defines a public health emergency of international concern, or PHEIC, as "an extraordinary event which is determined to constitute a public health risk to other States through the international spread of disease and to potentially require a coordinated international response."
The organization says that the definition implies that a situation is "serious, sudden, unusual or unexpected; carries implications for public health beyond the affected State's national border; may require immediate international action."
This definition comes from the International Health Regulations, which were created in 2005 and represent a legal agreement involving 196 countries with the aim of helping the international community prevent and respond to public health risks that have the potential to spread around the globe.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes the regulations as "a legally binding agreement of 196 countries to build the capability to detect and report potential public health emergencies worldwide. IHR require that all countries have the ability to detect, assess, report, and respond to public health events."
Two PHEICs are ongoing: polio, which began in 2014, and Covid-19, starting in 2020.
Four others have been declared since the regulations were put into place: H1N1 influenza from 2009 to 2010, Ebola from 2014 to 2016 and from 2019 to 2020, and the Zika virus in 2016.
WHO considers name change for [virus/i]
"WHO is also working with partners and experts from around the world on changing the name of monkeypox virus, its clades and the disease it causes," Tedros said. "We will make announcements about the new names as soon as possible."
Tedros said there have been more than 1,600 confirmed and almost 1,500 suspected monkeypox cases reported to WHO this year from 39 countries, seven of which are places where monkeypox has been detected for years. The other 32 are newly affected countries.
Seventy-two deaths have been reported this year from previously affected countries, and although none has been reported from newly affected countries, WHO is seeking to verify reports from Brazil of a monkeypox-related death.
According to the CDC, as of June 13, there are 65 confirmed or probable monkeypox cases in the United States.
WHO's goals are to support countries in containing transmission and to stop the outbreak with public health tools, Tedros said, adding that it is essential to raise awareness of risks and actions to reduce transmission in those groups who are most at risk.
Although WHO doesn't recommend mass vaccination against monkeypox, it published interim guidance Tuesday on using smallpox vaccines for monkeypox, he said.
While smallpox vaccines are expected to provide some protection against monkeypox, there is limited clinical data and limited supply," Tedros said. "Any decision about whether to use vaccines should be made jointly by individuals who may be at risk and their health care provider based on an assessment of risks and benefits on a case-by-case basis."
He also noted that it's essential that vaccines are available equitably wherever they are needed, and he said WHO is working with member states and partners to develop a mechanism for fair access to vaccines and treatments.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2022, 08:40:18 AM by georgiapeach »
-- theschnauzers

Offline theschnauzers

  • RFF Moderator
  • RFF Frantic Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 4268
  • An original TARfly
Re: New virus of concern (formerly Monkeypox virus)
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2022, 08:47:36 PM »
https://www.cnn.com/2022/06/25/health/monkeypox-who-public-health-emergency/index.html

WHO says monkeypox is not an international public health emergency, but it should continue to be monitored

CNN)The World Health Organization has stopped short of declaring the monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency of international concern as a result of an emergency committee meeting.

The WHO convened an emergency committee meeting Thursday to discuss the severity of the monkeypox outbreak. The result of the meeting was announced Saturday.
"Overall, in the report, they (the emergency committee) advised me that at this moment the event does not constitute a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, which is the highest level of alert WHO can issue but recognized that the convening of the committee itself reflects the increasing concern about the international spread of monkeypox," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in the statement released Saturday.
Tedros on Thursday called for intensified surveillance for monkeypox, cautioning that "while men who have sex with men have been most affected in these new outbreaks, there are also risks of severe disease for immunocompromised persons, pregnant women and children if they are infected."
Health care workers are also at risk if they don't wear appropriate personal protective equipment, Tedros said in his opening remarks at the meeting.
Last week, Tedros said "the virus is behaving unusually from how it used to behave in the past" and as more countries became affected, a coordinated response was necessary.
Saturday's statement acknowledged the "evolving health threat" that the WHO would be following extremely closely.
What is a public health emergency of international concern?
The WHO defines a public health emergency of international concern, or PHEIC, as "an extraordinary event" that constitutes a "public health risk to other States through the international spread of disease" and "to potentially require a coordinated international response."
This definition comes from the International Health Regulations, which were created in 2005 and represent a legal agreement involving 196 countries with the aim of helping the international community prevent and respond to public health risks that have the potential to spread around the globe.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes the regulations as "a legally binding agreement of 196 countries to build the capability to detect and report potential public health emergencies worldwide. IHR require that all countries have the ability to detect, assess, report, and respond to public health events.
There are two ongoing emergencies: polio, which began in 2014, and Covid-19, starting in 2020.
Four other PHEICs have been declared since the regulations were put into place: H1N1 influenza from 2009 to 2010, Ebola from 2014 to 2016 and from 2019 to 2020, and the Zika virus in 2016.
There have been more than 3,200 confirmed cases of monkeypox and one death reported to the WHO in 48 countries between January 1, 2022 and June 15, 2022, Tedros said in the opening remarks.
The death occurred in Nigeria, according to the situation update.
Tedros stressed the importance of countries sharing information with WHO.
"In other outbreaks, we have sometimes seen the consequences of countries not being transparent, of not sharing information," he said. "We need case finding, contact tracing, laboratory investigation, genome sequencing, and implementation of infection prevention and control measures; We need information about the different clades of monkeypox virus; We need clear case definitions to help identify and report infections; And we need all countries to remain vigilant and strengthen their capacities to prevent onward transmission of monkeypox. It is likely that many countries will have missed opportunities to identify cases, including cases in the community without any recent travel."
Monkeypox is a rare disease and is a much less severe cousin of the now eradicated smallpox virus.
It is endemic to parts of west and central Africa and is usually contracted from a rodent or small mammal. It does not easily spread from one person to another.
However, the monkeypox virus can spread through contact with body fluids, monkeypox sores, or items such as clothing and bedding contaminated with the virus. It can also spread from person to person through respiratory droplets, typically in a close setting, according to the CDC.
-- theschnauzers


Offline theschnauzers

  • RFF Moderator
  • RFF Frantic Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 4268
  • An original TARfly
Re: New virus of concern (formerly Monkeypox virus)
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2022, 03:24:37 AM »
US CDC activates Emergency Operations Center for Monkeypox

https://www.cnn.com/2022/06/28/health/cdc-eoc-monkeypox/index.html

CNN)The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on Tuesday the activation of its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to respond to the US monkeypox outbreak.
The activation of the EOC "allows the agency to further increase operational support for the response to meet the outbreak's evolving challenges," the agency said in a news release.
This facility is currently activated for Covid-19 and is where experts monitor information on other public health emergencies, such as hurricanes, earthquakes and oil spills.
According to CDC's webpage, the center works to outline a structure of response from the government and alongside non-government actors in emergency response.
Most recent data from the CDC show at least 244 probable or confirmed cases of monkeypox in the US.
-- theschnauzers

Offline theschnauzers

  • RFF Moderator
  • RFF Frantic Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 4268
  • An original TARfly
Re: New virus of concern (Monkeypox virus)
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2022, 10:02:14 PM »
WHO to consider again whether monkeypox outbreak is public health emergency of international concern

(CNN)As monkeypox cases continue to rise globally, the World Health Organization plans to reassess whether the outbreak constitutes a public health emergency of international concern.

In late June, WHO's Emergency Committee determined that the outbreak did not meet the criteria for such a declaration.
But as the virus continues to spread, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus wants the committee to take up the issue again, based on the latest data around the epidemiology and evolution of the outbreak.

Tedros said Wednesday that he will convene the committee during the week of July 18, or sooner if needed.

WHO defines a public health emergency of international concern, or PHEIC, as "an extraordinary event" that constitutes a "public health risk to other States through the international spread of disease" and that may "potentially require a coordinated international response."
"On monkeypox, I continue to be concerned by the scale and spread of the virus. Across the world, there has now been more than 6,000 cases recorded in 58 countries," Tedros said.
"Testing remains a challenge, and it's highly probable that there are a significant number of cases not being picked up," he added. "Europe is the current epicenter of the outbreak, recording more than 80% of cases globally."
Monkeypox, a viral disease, occurs mostly in central and western Africa, where the virus is endemic -- but as part of the latest outbreak, the virus has spread to many regions of the world where it is not typically seen.

Cases are also being reported in African countries that previously were not affected by the virus, and in those places where the virus is endemic, record numbers are being recorded, Tedros said Wednesday. WHO teams are following the data closely, he said.
WHO is working with countries and vaccine manufacturers to coordinate sharing of vaccines for monkeypox, which are scarce. The organization is also working with groups to break the stigma around the virus and spread information to help protect people.

people.
"I want to particularly commend those that are sharing videos online via social media channels, talking about their symptoms and experiences with monkeypox," he said. "This is a positive way to break down the stigma about a virus that can affect anyone."
Early data on the outbreak has suggested that gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men make up a high number of reported cases, leading to concern about stigmatizing the disease and the LGBTQ community.
However, anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has the virus can be at risk.

The monkeypox virus can spread from person to person through direct contact with infectious body fluids or with the rash, scabs and sores that the disease can cause. Spread can also happen through indirect contact, such as through clothing or bedding contaminated with the virus.
It can also spread through respiratory secretions during prolonged face-to-face contact or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling or sex.
Symptoms of monkeypox can include fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, chills, exhaustion and a rash on the skin that can look like pimples or blisters.
The rash goes through different stages, developing into pustules before healing.
About 41,500 courses of vaccine distributed in US
About 41,500 courses of the monkeypox vaccine Jynneos have been distributed to states and other jurisdictions across the United States, according to data published Wednesday by the US Department of Health and Human Services.
A course of Jynneos involves two doses four weeks apart.
The Biden administration announced last week that the strategy for distributing monkeypox vaccines would focus on areas with the highest case rates and overall risk. The District of Columbia has the most reported cases per capita, by far, and has received the most vaccine doses per capita, the new HHS data shows.
Vaccine distribution has also been heavily concentrated in California, Illinois and New York, particularly the three largest US cities: New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.
Massachusetts, Hawaii and Colorado also received a large share of the vaccine distribution to date.
Eleven states have not received any monkeypox vaccine, according to the data; none of them has reported any cases to the CDC.
US monkeypox testing ramps up
Efforts are also underway to ramp up testing for the virus in the US.
The commercial laboratory company Labcorp will begin monkeypox testing Wednesday at its largest facility in the United States, doubling the nation's capacity to test for the virus, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC announced Wednesday that Labcorp will be able to accept specimens for testing from anywhere in the United States, and the company expects to perform up to 10,000 tests per week.
The outbreak has led to 605 probable or confirmed cases in the US as of Wednesday evening. Cases have been reported in 34 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Three of the cases were non-US residents.

"The ability of commercial labs to test for monkeypox is a key pillar in our comprehensive strategy to combat this disease," CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Wednesday. "This will not only increase testing capacity but will make it more convenient for providers and patients to access tests by using existing provider-to-lab relationships."
If someone thinks they could have a monkeypox infection, a provider will have to order a test. "The public will not be able to go to a Labcorp lab and submit a specimen," the CDC said in its statement.

 CDC's Laboratory Response Network has been conducting most of the monkeypox-specific testing in the US, but on June 22, the US Department of Health and Human Services announced that monkeypox testing would expand to five commercial labs: Aegis Science, Labcorp, Mayo Clinic Laboratories, Quest Diagnostics and Sonic Healthcare.

The CDC confirmed Wednesday that it had shipped tests to the labs and that their employees have been trained on how to administer the tests. "CDC anticipates additional commercial laboratories will come online and monkeypox testing capacity will continue to increase throughout the month of July."

https://www.cnn.com/2022/07/06/health/monkeypox-testing-who-emergency/index.html
-- theschnauzers

Offline theschnauzers

  • RFF Moderator
  • RFF Frantic Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 4268
  • An original TARfly
Re: New virus of concern (Monkeypox virus)
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2022, 07:07:47 PM »
WHO declares global health emergency over monkeypox outbreak

https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/monkeypox-outbreak-constitutes-global-health-emergency-who-2022-07-23/

July 23 (Reuters) - The rapidly spreading monkeypox outbreak represents a global health emergency, the World Health Organization's highest level of alert, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Saturday.

The WHO label - a "public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC)" - is designed to trigger a coordinated international response and could unlock funding to collaborate on sharing vaccines and treatments.

Members of an expert committee that met on Thursday to discuss the potential recommendation were split on the decision, with nine members against and six in favour of the declaration, prompting Tedros himself to break the deadlock, he told reporters.

"Although I am declaring a public health emergency of international concern, for the moment this is an outbreak that is concentrated among men who have sex with men, especially those with multiple sexual partners," Tedros told a media briefing in Geneva. read more

Previously, Tedros has typically endorsed expert committee recommendations, but two sources told Reuters earlier on Saturday said he had likely decided to back the highest alert level due to concerns about escalating case rates and a short supply of vaccines and treatments.

So far this year, there have been more than 16,000 cases of monkeypox in more than 75 countries, and five deaths in Africa.

The viral disease has been spreading chiefly in men who have sex with men in the recent outbreak, outside Africa where it is endemic.


Health experts welcomed the WHO's decision to issue the PHEIC declaration, which until now had only been applied to the coronavirus pandemic and ongoing efforts to eradicate polio.

"The right result is clear – not declaring an emergency at this point would be a historic missed opportunity," said Lawrence Gostin, a professor at Georgetown Law in Washington, D.C., calling the decision politically brave.

The decision should help contain the spread of the viral disease, said Josie Golding, head of epidemics and epidemiology at the Wellcome Trust.

"We cannot afford to keep waiting for diseases to escalate before we intervene," she said.

JUNE MEETING
The WHO and national governments have been facing intense pressure from scientists and public health experts to take more action on monkeypox.

Cases of the viral disease have ballooned since the committee first met at the end of June, when there were only about 3,000 cases.

At the time, the expert group agreed to reconsider their position on the emergency declaration if the outbreak escalated.

One of the key issues driving a reassessment was whether cases would spread to other groups, particularly children or others who have been vulnerable to the virus in past outbreaks in endemic countries.

On Friday, the United States identified its first two monkeypox cases in children.

WHO officials said on Saturday they were exploring the possibility of the virus spreading via new modes of transmission.



-- theschnauzers


Offline theschnauzers

  • RFF Moderator
  • RFF Frantic Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 4268
  • An original TARfly
Re: MONKEYPOX VIRUS
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2022, 12:44:56 AM »
The United States has now declared the outbreak of Monkeypox to be a public health emergency in the United States

http://www.cnn.com/2022/08/04/politics/monkeypox-public-health-emergency/index.html

(CNN — The Biden administration on Thursday declared monkeypox a public health emergency, with cases on the rise across the US.

The announcement came during a briefing with the Department of Health and Human Services.

The administration has been criticized at times for its handling of the outbreak, and some have called on the government to declare a national emergency without delay.

Since the first US monkeypox case was identified in mid-May, more than 6,600 probable or confirmed cases have been detected in the United States. Cases have been identified in every state except Montana and Wyoming.

The declaration follows the World Health Organization announcement last month that monkeypox is a public health emergency of international concern. WHO defines a public health emergency of international concern, or PHEIC, as “an extraordinary event” that constitutes a “public health risk to other States through the international spread of disease” and “to potentially require a coordinated international response.”

Some cities and states, including New York City, San Francisco, California, Illinois and New York, have already declared monkeypox an emergency, allowing them to free up funding and resources for their responses to the outbreak.

On Tuesday, President Joe Biden named Robert Fenton as the White House’s national monkeypox response coordinator. Fenton – a regional Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator who oversees Arizona, California, Hawaii and Nevada – will coordinate the federal government’s response to the outbreak. Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s director of the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, serves as the deputy coordinator.

The Biden administration has been heavily criticized by some public health experts for not moving faster to address the crisis.

One of the criticisms of the administration’s response, as CNN reported earlier Thursday, was that HHS waited more than three weeks after the first confirmed case of monkeypox in the US to order bulk stocks of the monkeypox vaccine, which the government owns and stores in Denmark, be bottled and sent to the US for distribution. The delay was in part out of concern that once those vaccines were taken out of bulk storage, they would lose years of shelf life.

Monkeypox can infect anyone, but the majority of cases in the US outbreak have been among men who have sex with men, including gay and bisexual men and people who identify as transgender. Close contact with an infected individual is required for the spread of the monkeypox virus, experts say.

The CDC initially announced vaccines for monkeypox were being released from the Strategic National Stockpile and offered to the “high-risk” contacts of monkeypox patients, as well as the health care workers treating them. Federal health officials have since expanded vaccination efforts to focus on the broader community of men who have sex with men, the demographic that makes up most US monkeypox cases.

In addition to providing vaccines, the CDC has said since June it has made a concerted effort to do extensive education and outreach to the LGBTQ community.

Possible change to how vaccine is administered
Health officials are considering changing the way monkeypox vaccine doses are administered because the country is “at a critical inflection point” with the virus’ spread, US Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf told reporters on Thursday.

“In recent days, it’s become clear to all of us that given the continued spread of the virus, we’re at a critical inflection point, dictating the need for additional solutions to address the rise in infection rates,” Califf said. “The goal has always been to vaccinate as many people as possible.”

The commissioner said officials are considering allowing health care providers to be able to use a dose-sharing method where one vial of Jynneos vaccine – previously used as one dose – will be used to administer up to five separate doses.

This approach would change the way Jynneos is administered, Califf said. Instead of the vaccine being administered in the fat layer under the skin, it will be delivered underneath the skin layer.

“There are some advantages to intradermal administration including an improved immune response to the vaccine,” Califf said. “It’s important to note that overall safety and efficacy profile will not be sacrificed for this approach. Please know, we’ve been exploring all scientifically feasible options and we believe this could be a promising approach.”
-- theschnauzers

Offline theschnauzers

  • RFF Moderator
  • RFF Frantic Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 4268
  • An original TARfly
Re: MONKEYPOX VIRUS
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2022, 03:47:59 AM »
From the Associated Press via The Hill newspaper:

https://trib.al/Mpx7hl9

Africa CDC says gay sex ‘not relevant’ in monkeypox there

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Africa’s public health agency says it doesn’t know how many of the continent’s reported monkeypox cases this year are in men who have sex with men, and it warned Thursday against “any stigmatization” that might delay case reporting and affect the outbreak response.

The monkeypox cases reported in Europe and North America have almost exclusively involved gay and bisexual men, though health officials have said the virus can infect anyone who is in close, physical contact with an infected individual, their clothing or bedsheets.

But “that indicator is not relevant in the African context,” the acting director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Ahmed Ogwell, told reporters. Many of Africa’s 54 countries criminalize consensual same-sex relations to some extent.

Ogwell was asked how the issue of men having sex with men could be ruled out as a factor in the largely conservative continent’s current outbreak if his agency had no statistics on it.

“It’s not an issue here,” he said. “And frankly, we don’t want to make it an issue because we have serious outbreaks to manage and don’t want to get into a discussion that will distract us (from preparedness and response).”

Although monkeypox has been endemic in parts of Africa for decades, it mostly jumps into people from infected wild animals and has not typically spread very far beyond the continent.

Ogwell said health officials in Africa have collected data on monkeypox since 1970 and that men who have sex with men has never come up as a significant issue. He said the drivers of this outbreak are “traditional” ones, including close contact in confined spaces and living in communities in contact with animals that have the virus.

“We have not seen any evidence of any specific group of persons being affected by monkeypox,” he said. “All communities, all ages, all genders are at risk.” He urged people to “avoid definitions and communications that may stigmatize those exposed.”

A more lethal form of monkeypox is spreading in Africa than in the West. Africa has had more than 2,800 confirmed and suspected cases in 11 countries this year, including 103 deaths.

The number of confirmed and suspected cases increased by 766 since the Africa CDC’s briefing last week, with 28 new deaths. The case fatality rate is “relatively high” at 3.6%, the Africa CDC said.

Only a handful of deaths have been reported outside Africa in this outbreak. On Thursday, the World Health Organization said the number of cases globally increased by about 19% in the past week. More than 25,000 cases have been recorded.

The Africa CDC director also said the continent still doesn’t have any doses of monkeypox vaccines, though discussions continue with a number of countries and institutions on obtaining them. He said testing kits are urgently needed as well.

Experts suspect the monkeypox outbreaks in North America and Europe may have originated in Africa long before the disease started spreading via sex at two raves in Spain and Belgium. More than 70% of the world’s monkeypox cases are in Europe, and 98% are in men who have sex with men.

In a separate briefing Thursday by the WHO, emergency officer Otim Patrick Ramadan said there is no evidence yet that monkeypox is transmitted by gay sex as 60% of cases in Africa are men while 40% are women, “so it would be clear from there that it is not the pattern we are seeing in our region.”

A gap in available data and limited sequencing means that health officials cannot confirm whether the monkeypox in Europe and elsewhere is genetically identical to that found in Africa in the past, Ramadan said, and nothing shows whether the cases in Africa are seeded from Europe and are not the indigenous form.
-- theschnauzers