Experts Worry Monkeypox Will Linger Permanently In Non-African Animals

Experts Worry Monkeypox Will Linger Permanently In Non-African Animals

A report in Science highlights how the first US patient with monkeypox, a 3-year-old girl, caught it in 2003 from a pet prairie dog bite and addresses concerns the outbreak will establish viral reservoirs in local animal populations outside Africa. The puzzling child hepatitis outbreak is again in the news.

Science: Concern Grows That Human Monkeypox Outbreak Will Establish Virus In Animals Outside Africa

Eleven days after being bitten by one of her pet prairie dogs, a 3-year-old girl in Wisconsin on 24 May 2003 became the first person outside of Africa to be diagnosed with monkeypox. Two months later, her parents and 69 other people in the United States had suspected or confirmed cases of this disease, which is caused by a relative of the much deadlier smallpox virus. The monkeypox virus is endemic in parts of Africa, and rodents imported from Ghana had apparently infected captive captive dogs, North American animals, when an animal in Texas housed them together.The outbreak now underway has affected more people of Africa than ever before before —nearly 1300 cases as of 7 June, on multiple continents, many of them men who have sex with men. But like the 2003 episode, today’s surge has raised a possibility that makes researchers gulp: Monkeypox virus could take up permanent residence in wildlife outside of Africa, forming a reservoir that could lead to repeated human outbreaks. (Cohen, August 6)

Nature: Monkeypox Vaccination Begins — Can The Global Outbreaks Be Contained?

As global monkeypox cases continue to rise, public-health officials and researchers are questioning whether the current outbreaks can be contained. The World Health Organization has said that the situation is unlikely to escalate into a full-blown pandemic. But more than 1,000 people have now been confirmed to have been infected with the virus in nearly 30 countries where outbreaks do not usually occur. (Kozlov, August 6)

Stat: How Much Medicine Does The US Have To Fight Monkeypox?

As the world grapples with a monkeypox outbreak, the Biden administration has been quick to highlight the vaccines and other therapies the United States has in its national stockpile. It’s been far less open about exactly how many of those medicines it has. Right now, the country hasn’t seen many actual cases of monkeypox — only 35 confirmed cases as of Tuesday. But as global concerns grow, officials are walking a tightrope, attempting to assuage public concerns while being cautious on both negotiations about sharing medicines abroad and what they say are national security issues. (Cohrs, September 6)

Los Angeles Times: LA County Records 2nd Suspected Monkeypox Case

Los Angeles County has reported its second suspect case of monkeypox. The Department of Public Health on Wednesday said the latest case occurred in an adult who recently traveled. “They are symptomatic but doing well and isolating away from others,” officials said in a statement. That brings the total of confirmed and suspected monkeypox cases in California to eight as of Wednesday afternoon. (Lin II, 6/8)

Print updates on the hepatitis outbreak in children —

CIDRAP: CDC Reports 28 More Kids’ Unexplained Hepatitis Cases; Global Total Grows

In a regular update today, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 28 more unexplained hepatitis cases in children that health officials are investigating, raising the national total to 274. One more or jurisdiction reported a case, raising the total to 39.The CDC has said that many recent cases are retrospective, with investigations covering illnesses going back to October 2021. A definitive cause hasn’t been established, but a possible role for adenovirus is a strong lead, and scientists are still weighing other potential causes, such as COVID-19 or toxin exposure. (6/8)

Louisville Courier Journal: Hepatitis Outbreak In Children 2022: Six Cases Reported In Kentucky

Six cases of a mysterious form of hepatitis have now been reported to the Kentucky Department for Public Health, a confirmed spokesman. The cases, which are all in children 10 or younger, have been reported in these counties: Jefferson (2 possible cases under investigation) Todd Lyon Bourbon Meade. The World Health Organization has reported 650 probable cases in children from 33 countries between April 5 and May 26 and rated the global risk as “moderate” as it investigates. At least 38 children have needed liver transplants and nine have died, WHO reported. (Ladd, 6/8)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.

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