Fauci on monkeypox: ‘You never kill any emerging infection,’ but it can be controlled

People lined up Friday at a pop-up vaccination clinic in DC to get the monkeypox vaccine, hoping to mitigate their risk of contracting the infection. Dr. Anthony Fauci says that people should be aware, but not panic.

People lined up Friday at a pop-up vaccination clinic in DC to get the monkeypox vaccine, hoping to mitigate the risk of infection. Dr. Anthony Fauci says that people should be aware of the virus but not panic.

The federal government declared monkeypox a public health emergency Thursday to bolster the response to the outbreak that has infected more than 7,100 Americans. The announcement will free up money and other resources to fight the virus, which can cause fever, body aches, chills, fatigue and pimple-like lumps in many parts of the body. The Associated Press reported.

This “all hands on deck” approach, Fauci said, will synergize all the different elements in responding to this “significant and serious outbreak.”

Fauci said he believes monkeypox can be controlled, and there are four reasons why. First, testing increased from 6,000 to 80,000 per week due to the involvement of at least five commercial companies.

And what was originally 136,000 doses of the Jynneos vaccine deployed increased in a few days to more than 600,000, with the goal of 1.1 million doses. Fauci said that’s still not as much as is wanted or needed, but the process is accelerating.

In addition, the process for health care providers to get TPOXXEarly treatment for people with monkeypox has been accelerated, making it easier for a doctor to quickly get the drug without going through many hoops, Fauci said.

Lastly, Fauci said there was strong community outreach.

‘Protect myself as best I can’

DC resident Hazel Johnson was one of those who came to the pop-up vaccine clinic on Georgia Avenue NW. She found out about the clinic near her house and came to get one of the 300 vaccines the district offers at each vaccination site on Fridays.

Johnson said he’s not worried about monkeypox because he doesn’t know of anyone who has contracted monkeypox in the DC region.

“But I’m going to protect myself as best I can so I don’t have to worry about it. I have many trips to come. So, I want to make sure I’m covered on all bases,” Johnson said.

Last month, DC reported the largest outbreak of monkeypox per capita in the nation Currently, DC has 280 cases, according to the latest count from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Johnson and several residents told WTOP’s DMV Download podcast that the District’s response to the monkeypox outbreak has been pretty good.

George, a DC resident who works in nightlife, said he has seen the information on monkeypox and vaccines and feels positive about how DC has handled it, particularly the availability of vaccines.

“It’s not like a big queue like it was with COVID. It’s nice, there are different places. So far, I approve,” George said, adding that pop-up clinics would be better and he hopes more days will be available.

Another person who declined to be identified said he tried to sign up online, but days were limited and going to the pop-up clinic seemed to be the “only way I can get vaccinated.”

Eddie, another person in line Friday, said the District has made a good effort to open the walk-in immunization clinic. He is somewhat concerned about the outbreak, and so he is getting vaccinated.

‘You never remove a pop-up infection’

George said there has been a lot of stigma around sex workers and people who work in nightlife when it comes to monkeypox. Fauci said pointing fingers is “the worst thing you can do.”

Monkeypox can be spread from person to person through direct contact with an infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids. It can also be spread through respiratory secretions during prolonged face-to-face contact or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, fondling, or sex. the CDC said.

Last month, a boy visiting DC He was diagnosed with monkeypox. Another child in California also contracted it.

Fauci said five children have been secondarily infected. “Does that mean every parent in the country should be terrified? No. Pay attention to it, but don’t panic,” she said.

“You never remove an emerging infection when you don’t yet know where it’s going. So you pay attention to it, follow it, and respond appropriately.”

Luke Garrett and Megan Cloherty of WTOP contributed to this report.

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