CDC expands monkeypox investigation in US: 7 updates

The CDC is investigating four cases of monkeypox in the U.S. as of May 23.

The first case was confirmed in a man in Massachusetts on May 18 while the cases under investigation include one in New York, one in Florida and two in Utah. The confirmed case and potential cases are all in men and related to travel, and there is no evidence the virus has become more contagious, the CDC said during a May 23 briefing. 

Here are six more updates: 

1. John Brooks, MD, a CDC official, emphasized anyone can contract monkeypox through close personal contact regardless of sexual orientation but said the people affected globally thus far are men identifying as gay or bisexual, CNBC reported May 23.

2. "It really requires a discrete encounter with the lesions themselves or the bedding or clothing that they share," Dr. Brooks told NBC News.

3. The patient hospitalized in Boston with the condition had 200 close contacts — the majority being healthcare workers, The Boston Globe reported May 23.

4. Two vaccines are FDA approved for monkeypox: Jynneos, approved in 2019 for prevention of both smallpox and monkeypox, and the original smallpox vaccine, The New York Times reported May 23.

5. The U.S. has stockpiled the vaccines, with more than 1,000 doses of Jynneos and over 100 million doses of the original smallpox vaccine, according to the Times.

6. Jennifer McQuiston, a deputy director at the CDC, said she expects production of the two vaccines to "ramp up" in coming weeks, according to the Times.

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