4 factors that led to monkeypox's decline

Monkeypox cases in the U.S. peaked in early August and have since fallen more than 85 percent. The outbreak's quick downfall can mainly be attributed to four factors, experts told The New York Times. 

More than 27,000 cases have been confirmed in the U.S. since May, according to CDC data. The seven-day average for cases on Aug. 5 was 442. That figure had dropped to 60 as of Oct. 12. Experts don't believe the virus will be eradicated in the U.S. and anticipate low-level transmission to continue indefinitely. 

Four factors that have led to the outbreak's decline, per the Times

1. Increased vaccine availability. Access to the Jynneos monkeypox vaccine was limited at the start of the outbreak, though it grew as the U.S. expanded supplies. A recent study based on early real-world data found a single dose of the vaccine offers significant protection against infection. 

2. Behavior changes among populations most at risk of contracting the disease. As awareness of the outbreak grew, men who have sex with men reported behavior changes to lower their risk, such as limiting their number of sexual partners. In August, the CDC conducted an online survey among meng who have sex with men, and 50 percent of respondents said they reduced one-time sexual encounters in response to the outbreak. While anyone is at risk of contracting monkeypox, the outbreak has mainly affected men who have sex with men. 

3. Pride month effect. Experts believe the virus began to spread more in June because of Pride month festivities, many of which involve close, intimate encounters. As those gatherings died down, so did the risk of monkeypox spread. 

4. Virus burned out. Monkeypox is usually spread through sustained close contact and is much more difficult to transmit than an airborne virus like the coronavirus. And once someone is infected, reinfection is very unlikely. 

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