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The US recorded 1,424 new cases of monkeypox on Monday

The US recorded 1,424 new cases of monkeypox on Monday

US reports record 1,424 new cases of monkeypox in single day Monday: Fears could break out on college campuses as students return to school this month

  • The United States reported 1,424 new cases of monkeypox on Monday, the highest number of cases in a single day to date.
  • America approaches 9,000 confirmed cases of the virus — the world’s largest outbreak — just as the fall semester begins across the country
  • Experts fear that behavior on campuses this fall will open the door for the virus to spread out of control this fall
  • Over the weekend, former FDA chief Dr Scott Gottlieb said the virus may still be under control

The United States reported a record 1,424 cases of monkeypox on Monday, the highest total since the global epidemic first appeared in the states in May. It comes as officials begin to warn that the virus is rampant on campuses during the upcoming semester.

Monday’s figures brought the total number of cases in America to 8,934, putting the US on course to become the first country to eclipse 9,000 confirmed infections when officials announced new numbers on Tuesday. It is likely that these numbers are greatly underestimated due to lack of testing.

This epidemic could also get worse soon. Colleges and universities across the United States are set to begin a new school year in the coming weeks. Young students are more likely to engage in reckless sexual behavior, creating the perfect storm for potential monkeypox outbreaks across the country.

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Also, unlike Covid in 2020, many universities do not have dedicated virus response plans in place – making rampant spread even more likely once the virus hits campus.

“As we head into the fall, I am concerned about outbreaks on college campuses because they are often places where individuals engage in high-risk sexual activity and are in close contact with many different people,” said Dr. Rachel Cox, assistant professor at the Mass General Institute of Health Professionals, CNN said.

“We need to make sure we’re ready to allocate resources like tests, vaccines and antivirals to places that may become outbreaks.”

However, not all experts believe that the epidemic will get absolutely out of control.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former head of the Food and Drug Administration and current board member of pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, told CBS Face the Nation on Sunday that while it is difficult, it is possible to prevent monkeypox from becoming an endemic virus — which is likely, that officials failed with Covid.

Former FDA chief Dr. Scott Gottlieb (pictured) told CBS Face the Nation that America's monkeypox epidemic can still be controlled.

Former FDA chief Dr. Scott Gottlieb (pictured) told CBS Face the Nation that America’s monkeypox epidemic can still be controlled.

He says the response to the virus needs to be broader to control it. Currently, testing is primarily reserved for gay and bisexual men – who make up the vast majority of cases. Gottlieb believes more cases would be found if testing expanded beyond that community.

“There’s potential to get it back in the box, but it’s going to be very difficult at this point,” Gottlieb said.

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“We’re continuing to look for cases in the MSM community, it’s primarily spread in that community, but there’s no question that it’s spread outside of that community at this point and I think we need to start looking for cases.” more widely.’

Although exact federal figures are not available, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said during a briefing last week that they still make up the majority of cases.

America currently faces a shortage of both testing and vaccines, meaning they have so far been reserved for men who have sex with men.

The CDC has greatly expanded its testing capacity in recent weeks and is now able to conduct 80,000 per week through its own testing and agreements with private partners.

Last week, Walensky said only about ten percent of America’s testing capacity is being used, opening the door for a significant expansion of the number of people who should be tested.

Gottlieb said any person with an atypical case of shingles or herpes should be tested for monkeypox at this time.

Expanded testing will either find more cases – giving officials more information they can use to control the outbreak – or confirm more people as negative and confirm areas where the virus is not spreading.

He also believes the CDC should begin surveillance of wastewater — which can provide more general pictures of where the virus is spreading without individual testing.

Despite his concerns, Gottlieb doesn’t think the virus has reached a point where the average American should be concerned.

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“I don’t think it’s something that people should worry about in general,” he explained.

“I think the incidence of this infection in the wider community is still very low. Your risk of coming into contact with monkeypox is still extremely low outside of certain social networks where you see higher cases.

“If you want to contain it… we need to start looking for it widely.

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