The United States on Thursday became the first country to declare a public health emergency over the monkeypox virus, the only thing is: the American outbreak is four times smaller than the largest outbreak in Spain, with statistics showing it has the eighth highest number of cases. per head, official data show.
The US has seen the most cases of monkeypox of any country, with a total of 7,102 on Thursday – more than a third more than the 4,577 detected in the next highest country, Spain. But when the number is considered per population—a more accurate measure because it takes into account the much larger number of people in America—the U.S. ranks eighth, with 21 cases per million people.
This equates to one in 47,000 people who have a confirmed infection so far. In Spain, by contrast, the number is 96 per million, or one in 10,000, which is also higher than in every US state.
Dr. Jessica Justman, an infectious disease expert at the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health in New York, said that while the United States was lagging behind other countries, the number of infections found and the nature of the disease — with patients suffering from painful lesions — meant it was right to declare a state of emergency. need. In the US, hundreds of cases are still being detected every day, while in other European countries – such as the UK – the epidemic is now slowing down.
America moved into a state of emergency yesterday, two weeks after the World Health Organization also declared an international emergency over the epidemic. Justman added that other nations are likely to follow suit, but said it’s also possible they haven’t moved to that level of alert because of differences in how they operate.
Experts warned that it would be the “worst public health failure in modern times” if monkeypox became established in the United States because it was “preventable.” Unlike with Covid, accurate tests and effective vaccines were already readily available – but there was a problem in implementing them.
The top left panel shows the total number of monkeypox infections found in each country over time, and the right shows this as a rate per million people. Experts said it is more accurate to assess the data this way because it shows the difference in infections between nations. The data comes from OurWorldinData, a data platform run by experts at the University of Oxford
The chart above shows monkeypox cases per capita in Spain, which has the highest rate of infection, and the five US states with the highest incidence of the virus — New York, Georgia, Illinois, Florida and Maryland. It also shows the infection rate for the entire United States (dotted line)
The above shows the number of cases per state and each state matches. These figures are not given as monkeypox infection rates per million people
Pictured above, people line up to receive the first dose of the monkeypox vaccine at Obregon Park in Los Angeles, California.
The data on the rate of monkeypox infection per million people by nation was calculated by OurWorldinData, a platform run by experts from the prestigious University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. DailyMail.com used population data from the US Census Bureau to calculate infection rates per million by state.
On the ground level, it shows that Spain currently has the highest per capita incidence of monkeypox in the world, with 96 cases per million people (one in 10,000).
Portugal has the second highest rate at 69 per million, followed by the Netherlands at 54 per million and the UK at 39 per million. Germany (34), France (33) and Canada (23) also have higher numbers than the US.
EU countries are suffering from a shortage of monkeypox vaccine due to a slow procurement programme
The EU is poised to repeat its missteps with the COVID vaccine, saying it failed to deploy monkeypox vaccines.
Doctors are having to turn away patients due to a lack of doses, with the bloc’s collective purchasing policy floundering again.
While the United Kingdom ordered more than 100,000 doses of monkeypox vaccine, the Eurocrats obtained only 160,000 for their 27 members.
In a single weekend, up to 1,000 vaccinations were recorded in London. But in hotspot Madrid, where monkeypox deaths have occurred, only 790 have been vaccinated in total.
Dr. Jean-Christophe Goffard from the Erasme Hospital in Brussels said: “The vaccine is not currently available in Belgium.
“We had a growing demand for tests … and almost 90 percent came back positive.”
“We do not feel that we are currently able to control the epidemic very well.”
The two biggest EU powers, France and Germany, have turned their backs on the EU system and are buying their own vaccines.
Spain was one of the first countries to detect monkeypox in men attending Pride festivals in May, and there are anecdotal reports that the virus may have been circulating in the country as early as February.
Both Spain and Portugal are yet to begin mass vaccinations for all gay or bisexual men – although this may be because both nations are struggling to obtain adequate doses of Jynneos from the Bavarian Nordic region, which is used to treat the virus.
However, there are now signs in Europe that some outbreaks of monkeypox may be winding down as health authorities bring the outbreak under control.
In the UK, health authorities there say cases are now starting to “level off”. They have seen 299 new infections in the past seven days, level with the 261 infections found in the previous week.
But that’s not the case in the United States, which is now averaging about 439 cases a day, compared to just 224 two weeks ago.
There was no clear data on testing rates, but if other countries are testing less, it suggests their outbreaks may overtake the U.S. even further. America can currently perform about 10,000 monkeypox tests a day, but only about a tenth of them are used.
When asked if the US had the right to declare a state of emergency, Justman said: “I think this is a situation that requires the mobilization of resources for recruitment and access.
“It’s a response that was done with careful thought, and shouldn’t we dismiss it because it happens to primarily affect a smaller portion of the population?”
She added: “I’m glad the US is declaring a state of emergency, that’s a good thing.”
There are no signs of other countries following suit. For example, in the United Kingdom, monkeypox was only designated as a level two outbreak – reserved for transmission within a defined sub-population. These are two indicators beyond level four, or the highest alert level, if there is evidence of transmission of the virus in the wider community.
A breakdown of the US numbers by state also shows that none have a higher rate of monkeypox infection than is reported in Spain.
New York had the highest at 88 cases per million, followed by Georgia (50), Illinois (45) and Florida (26).
Compared to their European counterparts, New York, California (which ranks 10th among US states) and Illinois have already declared a state of emergency due to the virus outbreak and have begun rolling out vaccines for gay or bisexual men.
At Thursday’s press conference, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the CDC, acknowledged that officials still aren’t sure to what extent the cases they’ve been detecting are newly widespread or historical cases that were only now being caught thanks to accelerated testing.
But the number of cases has risen by several hundred each day over the past few weeks, with the virus now detected in every state except Montana and Wyoming, both of which are very rural. Last week, officials warned that the number was likely to rise for several more weeks.
Monkey pox is a serious disease that triggers flu-like symptoms in the early stages before patients develop a rash that spreads almost all over the body. It’s not like COVID, which only spreads through physical contact.
Almost every case has been identified in men, with the vast majority identifying as gay or bisexual in America thus far. But there are fears that it will spill over into other groups that are more at risk of serious illness.
A man is pictured receiving his first dose of monkeypox vaccine at the Dekalb County Board of Health in Atlanta, Georgia. Second batches are delayed in many areas due to lack of supplies
Pictured above are men waiting for the first dose of monkeypox vaccine in New York City. He is at the center of a nationwide virus outbreak
So far, at least five cases have been reported in children — two in California, two in Indiana and one traveling through Washington, DC — who likely caught the virus from “household contacts,” and one case in a pregnant woman. Both groups are more at risk of serious diseases.
During yesterday’s announcement of the state of emergency, the Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Human Resources, Dr. Xavier Becerra said: “In light of all these developments and the evolving circumstances on the ground, I want to announce today that I will declare a public health emergency for monkeypox.
“We are ready to take our response to the next level in dealing with this virus, and we are calling on every American to take monkeypox seriously and take responsibility for helping to deal with this virus.”
The declaration will make more resources available to states, allow for the nationwide deployment of federal officials, and strengthen data collection on cases, hospitalizations and testing.
Federal officials have so far been criticized for their delayed response to the virus, allowing it to spread potentially unfettered for weeks before expanding access to testing and introducing vaccines among the population. Currently, the country can conduct up to 80,000 monkeypox tests each week.