According to the latest figures from the CDC, there have been 1814 cases of monkeypox in the US, and the actual number could be even higher due to delays in testing patients.
There are now growing concerns about the rate at which the virus is spreading, as well as the fact that there aren’t enough vaccines to cope with surging demand in some areas.
The number of cases varies across the country. In New York – the epicenter of the outbreak – there have been 489 cases recorded so far, followed by California with 266.
The CDC says that over 12,500 cases of monkeypox have been reported in nearly 70 countries around the world.
Most of the confirmed cases have been among men who have sex with men, although the virus can affect anyone and typically causes painful lesions on the skin, fever, and exhaustion.
So far, the government has received 370,000 vaccine doses out of the 7 million it purchased, which includes over 1.1m doses of the Jynneos vaccine produced by Bavarian Nordic in Denmark.
It’s expected that millions of doses won’t arrive until next year and, in the meantime, supply is running short as thousands of people are trying to book their vaccine appointments.
The government has already distributed 156,000 doses nationwide and is expected to start shipping an additional 130,000 doses in the coming weeks.
In a news briefing, New York City Health Commissioner Ashwin Vasan apologized for the patchy roll-out of the vaccine. He said: “We own it. You know, those mistakes shouldn’t happen and so we’re working to correct those and do better.”
The true scale of the problem is still unclear, as testing has been slow and there is a delay of up to three weeks between being infected and symptoms appearing. This can also cause the virus to spread quickly – a month ago, there were only 45 cases in the US.