Another 12 monkeypox cases spotted in US in biggest daily jump since outbreak began
A further 12 monkeypox infections were reported across America on Wednesday, officials revealed, bringing the national number to 85.
The new cases marked the biggest daily rise since the outbreak began a month ago, and the first time daily cases have crossed double digits.
Nevada became the 18th state to detect the rash-causing virus, with a man in his 20s who had recently traveled to another part of the United States and tested positive for the virus.
Scientists are already warning that the tropical disease can spread undetected in some areas and that patients have no typical symptoms.
In an update, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said some patients experienced pain or bleeding around the anus that had not been previously associated with the disease.
Many also had fluid- and pus-filled blisters at the same time, when they previously did not appear at the same time.
It comes after Chicago yesterday became the first city to warn people who “feel sick” or have skin rashes to avoid summer festivals to limit the risk of spreading the virus.
During the current outbreak, more than 2,000 cases have been reported in 40 countries – mainly in Europe – outside of native West Africa.
In today’s dashboard update, Florida reported the largest increase in infections after detecting another four – bringing the total to nine.
Two were spotted in Chicago and Massachusetts respectively.
Each case was also detected in California, Nevada, New York City and Washington DC
WHO investigates whether monkey pox can spread through sperm
The World Health Organization (WHO) has said it will investigate whether monkeypox can be transmitted through semen.
Currently, scientists say it can spread through sex as a result of physical contact with infectious skin lesions on the genital area or other parts of the body.
But this week, Italian scientists said they had discovered fragments of the virus in semen, raising the possibility that it could be transmitted through this route.
German scientists say they have also discovered the virus in semen.
A WHO official revealed on Wednesday that they were investigating the reports.
Catherine Smallwood, the agency’s monkeypox incident manager, said: “We really need to focus on the most common mode of transmission and we see that this is clearly associated with skin-to-skin contact.”
More than 2,000 cases have been discovered worldwide outside of West Africa, where it is endemic.
These are mainly gay and bisexual men.
But scientists warn that the rash-causing virus spreads through close personal contact, and it’s likely the disease could spread to other groups.
According to local officials, New York City currently has the largest outbreak in the country with 16 cases. Sullivan County, in New York state, has also reported a suspected case.
Official CDC figures list the Empire state at 16 cases.
California is tied for most infections, including at 16.
Concerns were raised this week that monkeypox was spreading undetected in Massachusetts after two cases were reported unrelated to international travel or last month’s first infection.
Two more cases were noted in men today, although the health chiefs did not say whether they had close contacts with another case or had recently traveled.
Earlier this week, Dr. Bill Hanage, an epidemiologist at Harvard University, said infections “certainly point to undetected chains of transmission” earlier this week.
He added: ‘I noticed that [health officials in the state] have urged “vigilance”. I think it’s very appropriate.’
Florida and Chicago have not yet released additional details about their new cases of monkeypox.
But earlier this week, Chicago health officials said people who “feel sick” or “have a rash” should not attend summer parties or festivals in case they have monkey pox.
It said the guidelines were issued to allow residents to make “informed choices” about where to mingle with others.
Medical literature suggests that patients with monkeypox develop a fever within the first 21 days of infection, followed by a rash that covers the face before spreading to the rest of the body.
But in an update on Tuesday, the CDC said many patients who were recording it did not experience the typical symptoms.
It said many developed the rash before a fever, and some had no fever at all.
Skin lesions can also appear all over the body and progress at different times, while the medical literature suggests that rashes would gradually progress to fluid-filled and then pus-filled blisters.
Rashes were also recorded in the mouth and genital area or anus, which were not previously associated with the disease.
Most cases are among gay and bisexual men and related to international travel, health chiefs said.
But at least two have now been discovered in people with no ties to international travel or any other known case, suggesting the virus is spreading under the radar in the United States.
But CDC chiefs have so far brushed aside these cases, saying they are likely contacts of people who returned from international travel but were not diagnosed.
It says they have not yet recorded urban outbreaks of the tropical disease, similar to those being recorded in Europe.
It comes as the World Health Organization says it will rename monkey pox with a new “non-discriminatory and non-stigmatizing” term as soon as possible.
In addition to renaming the actual pathogen itself, strains will likely also be lettered like A or B to remove any mention of the parts of Africa where they were first seen.
More than 30 researchers last week signed a position paper saying there was an “urgent need” to change the name given the current outbreak, which mainly affects gay and bisexual men.
They wrote: “Continuous reference to and nomenclature that this virus is African is not only imprecise, but it is also discriminatory and stigmatizing.”
dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of the WHO, has confirmed that the virus will be given a new name.
He said: ‘[The] The WHO is working with partners and experts from around the world to change the name of the monkeypox virus, its clades and the disease it causes.
“We will make announcements about the new names as soon as possible.”