Federal health officials expressed cautious optimism Friday about the trajectory and spread of the monkeypox outbreak, emphasizing that increased vaccination, harm-reduction behaviors, and educational and outreach efforts appear to be helping to curb the propagation.
“We have started to see globally that we may be turning around,” said Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, during a White House Monkeypox Response Team briefing. .
Walensky pointed to drops in cases in some European countries and local reports from major US cities, including New York, Chicago and San Francisco. “We’re looking at this with cautious optimism and high hopes that a lot of our harm reduction messages and our vaccines are getting out there and working,” he said.
Walensky said the US had reported 17,000 cases of monkeypox as of Thursday, out of more than 46,700 cases detected globally, and acknowledged that the total number of cases was still rising in the US, although the rate of that increase has slowed.
“We’re still seeing increases, and of course we’re a very diverse country, and things aren’t even across the country,” he said.