NIH experts review monkeypox challenges – National Institutes of Health (.gov)

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News Release
Thursday, August 25, 2022

What

Lessons learned from the public health responses to the HIV and COVID-19 pandemics should help guide the response to the current outbreak of monkeypox, National Institutes of Health experts write in an editorial published today in the New England Journal of Medicine. Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and H. Clifford Lane, M.D., NIAID deputy director for clinical research and special projects, discuss a published case series (JP Thornhill et al.) detailing the symptoms and outcomes of 528 people with monkeypox from 16 countries in five continents.   
The authors note that the epidemiologic pattern of the multi-continent outbreak of monkeypox resembles that of the early cases of AIDS in that most cases are among men who have sex with men. They caution, however, that it should not be assumed that cases of monkeypox will remain confined to this population. Monkeypox virus has been known to spread from direct lesion-to-skin contact—in prior outbreaks, such spread was often from an infected child to a caregiver. Data suggest that sexual transmission likely plays a role in the current outbreak, the authors note. They call for detailed observational studies, serosurveys and ongoing surveillance to learn more about the epidemiology of the current outbreak.
Drs. Fauci and Lane also compare monkeypox, HIV/AIDS and COVID-19 regarding the causes of each disease and the countermeasures available to fight them. Fortunately, diagnostics, vaccines and treatments for monkeypox already exist. A challenge for the public health and research communities is ensuring equitable, efficient distribution of these existing countermeasures while simultaneously conducting rigorous clinical research to gather more data on their safety and optimal use, they conclude.
HC Lane and AS Fauci. Monkeypox – Past as Prologue. The New England Journal of Medicine DOI: 10.1056/NEJMe2210535 (2022).
JP Thornhill et al. Monkeypox Virus Infection in Humans across 16 Countries — April–June 2022. The New England Journal of Medicine DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa2207323 (2022)
Dr. Fauci and Dr. Lane are available for comment.
To schedule interviews, please contact the NIAID News & Science Writing Branch, (301) 402-1663, [email protected].
NIAID conducts and supports research—at NIH, throughout the United States, and worldwide—to study the causes of infectious and immune-mediated diseases, and to develop better means of preventing, diagnosing and treating these illnesses. News releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID website
About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation’s medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.
NIH…Turning Discovery Into Health®
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National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
NIH…Turning Discovery Into Health®
National Institutes of Health, 9000 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, Maryland 20892
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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