Health researchers are warning clinicians to prepare for an uptick in cases of monkeypox.
Doctors Amesh Adalja and Tom Inglesby at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security at the Bloomberg School of Public Health published a new commentary on Tuesday, pointing out the “unusual, multinational” monkeypox outbreak.
Their commentary was published in Annals of Internal Medicine.
They also noted that the spread of this disease “does not mirror past outbreaks,’ which has mostly been related to to exposure to infected animals.
In this current outbreak, doctors noted that person-to-person transmission is occurring and there appear to be multiple, unlinked clusters.
Cases have also been among men who have sex with men and many cases have been diagnosed at clinics where sexually transmitted infections are diagnosed.
Johns Hopkins experts said this suggests “the virus may be exploiting specific social networks,” and may just spread through skin-to-skin contact, not necessarily through sexual behavior.
Now researchers are trying to find out what makes this outbreak different from previous outbreaks and whether it is more transmissible.
In the meantime, doctors – including primary care physicians, urgent care doctors, emergency care doctors, dermatologists and physicians working in STI clinics – will need to work to identify new monkeypox cases.
The U.S. is also working to release monkeypox vaccine doses from its Strategic National Stockpile.
According to the CDC, there is one confirmed monkeypox case in the U.S. and four suspected cases.
CDC leaders tell CNN the vaccine will likely be released to high-risk contacts of some of the early patients.
More than 1,000 doses of Jynneos’ two-dose vaccine are available, Dr. Jennifer McQuiston said, but more could become available.
There are also more than 100 million doses of the ACAM2000 vaccine available.
It is considered an “older-generation” vaccine with potentially “significant side effects.”