Even before the first US case of monkeypox was confirmed in Massachusetts in mid-May, DC public health officials were bracing for an influx of infections.
The neighborhood soon recorded more cases per capita than any state, and launched an aggressive vaccination effort to protect the at-risk community. The federal government has given the city and other hotspots priority access to vaccines. But a nationwide shortage has left much of the gay and bisexual community – most cases involving men who have sex with men – awaiting doses as the infection spreads.
The federal government this week declared monkeypox a “public health emergencyto get rid of funding and step up its response to the fast-spreading virus, which is transmitted through close personal contact and has so far primarily infected men who have sex with men. Centers for Disaster Control and Prevention Data showed that more than 7,100 cases had been recorded across the country in early August, a total that has doubled about every eight days and which experts say is a significant undercount.