Before 2003, monkeypox was considered a rare illness, present only in certain countries of Africa. In the summer of that year, health authorities detected a cluster of cases in the Midwest – this was the first occurrence of the virus in the Western Hemisphere. Out of the 72 reported cases, 37 were confirmed by laboratory tests.
The virus reached American soil through rodents imported from Ghana. These animals were housed with native prairie dogs and became the main cause of the outbreak – because people had contact with their pet prairie dogs. Out of all patients, only two had serious clinical illnesses (both children) and all patients recovered.
Monkeypox 2022 Outbreak In The United States – development
On May 07, 2022, the United Kingdom Health Security Agency announced its first confirmed case of monkeypox. The patient was a traveler returning from Nigeria. A week later, the same agency reported its second and third unrelated cluster cases.
On May 04, an individual from Massachusetts presented an anogenital rash upon returning from an international journey. The rash progressed and spread through the body. The patient went to seek medical care, and common causes of a rash were dismissed. On May 12, the patient reported perianal pain and was hospitalized. After the United Kingdom alert, medics were prompted to test for monkeypox. The confirmation came the following day.
Also, on May 04, a traveler returning to New York City sought medical attention for a painful perianal rash and an oral lesion. The patient’s ailment was initially ruled as a common STI and he was sent home. The rash progressed, as well as the pain; the individual was examined again and all tests for sexually transmitted disease were negative. On May 19, the patient was tested for orthopoxvirus and the result was positive. He had monkeypox and was asked to isolate himself at home.
During the following days, multiple states received alerts from clinicians about potential monkeypox cases. On May 31, nine states (California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, NY, Utah, Virginia, and Washington) reported confirmed cases of monkeypox. Out of the 17 patients distributed in the nine states, 11 reported international travel. Out of the 17 patients, 16 identified themselves as homosexuals. All patients were adults and presented all or a few of the following symptoms: rash, chills, fatigue, fever, and headaches. In half of the patients, the rash began at the genital, perianal area.
On May 26, Virginia reported its first case. It was a woman who had recently traveled to Africa. Then other cases followed from California and Hawaii. As of June 3, the United States had 21 cases. The number escalated to 460 as of July 1st.
On August 4th, the US Department of Health and Human Services declared the country’s monkeypox outbreak to be a public health emergency. Confirmed cases were 2,891 (up to July 22) and the infection was present in 43 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia.
Monkeypox 2022 Outbreak In The United States – current status
As of August 9th, the CDC reports 9,493 confirmed cases in the United States. New York leads the list with 2,104 confirmed infections, followed by California with 1,310, and Florida with 976 cases.
According to the CDC, the monkeypox trend is still on the rise. Several news outlets report cases are growing exponentially, especially in California.
Monkeypox 2022 Outbreak – worldwide status
The World Health Organization currently reports 31,800 cases distributed in 89 countries.