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Monkeypox in Australia was in the spotlight just a few months ago. What happened to him?

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Monkeypox remains – along with COVID-19 and polio – one of the three global emergencies identified by the World Health Organization (WHO).
On July 23, the WHO declared monkeypox a global health emergency after a surge of infections since early May outside West and Central Africa, where the disease has long been endemic.
A global containment strategy was sought, as well as a better understanding of how it spread so quickly outside of Africa.
By the end of July, more than 16,000 cases had been reported in 75 countries.

Australia has also declared monkeypox a national emergency – an “infectious disease of national concern” – to coordinate monkeypox vaccine distribution and health services.

What is the number of cases in Australia and worldwide?

As of June 1, monkeypox, also known as MPX, became a notifiable disease under the National Notifiable Disease Surveillance System.
Of the 140 reported cases of MPX in Australia, 69 were in Victoria, 54 in NSW, 7 in Western Australia, 5 in Queensland, 3 in the Australian Capital Territory and 2 in South Australia.
Cases worldwide and in Australia peaked in July and have subsided since then, but health advocates say the next challenge is the next phase of the vaccine rollout – with 78,000 vials of the vaccine being shipped to Australia in two weeks.

The first phase of vaccine distribution in Australia began in August.

Thorne Harbor Health (formerly the Victorian AIDS Council) in Melbourne said it was also bracing for an increased risk of cases and outbreaks due to the summer festival season, Christmas and Sydney WorldPride next February.
“I don’t think we’re out of the woods yet, we still need to see the second doses roll out,” said the clinic’s Caleb Hawk.

“And we’re coming out of winter. And as we get closer to the festival season, we may see an increase in cases.”

Since the end of August, 5,700 doses of the vaccine have been administered at the clinic.
Mr Hawke said this was due to the trust and understanding between the clinic’s volunteers and patients.
“We actually had a massive mobilization of volunteers to actually set up a hotline so we could send out an alert.

“When people go to our website and the monkeypox page, you can register your name and express your interest. And then we’ll send an SMS to people on that list.”

What progress has been made with vaccine distribution?

In the two and a half months since the first MPX vaccines arrived in Australia, at least 33,000 doses of the vaccine have been administered.
The Australian Federation of AIDS Organizations (AFAO) said the roll-out has so far been a success story and has come about because of the trust and understanding established between sexual health centers and the gay and bisexual target group.
The majority – 98 percent – of cases reported worldwide are among men who have sex with men.

Heath Painter, AFAO’s deputy director general, said health advocates are well aware of the need to avoid stigmatizing society or the disease, which can prevent people from seeking help.

“Our challenge was to avoid framing this disease or virus as a gay disease, because it’s not. Anyone can get monkeypox,” he said.
“Simply the current dynamics of transmission mean that the virus is transmitted through interconnected networks of gay and bisexual men. We were able to cope with this task – and do it successfully.”
He said increased health literacy among the target population meant there were no reports of vaccine loss or vaccine hesitancy.
“People living with HIV take treatment every day. And many gay men take a pill once a day to prevent HIV infection – it’s known as PrEP. So it’s the same demographic.
“We expected the community to take the same level of trust that they had with HIV, to apply it to the new threat of monkeypox. And the community did.

“We haven’t seen any evidence or heard any anecdotes about vaccine hesitancy. And we haven’t heard of any dials or doses being wasted.”

Another shipment of 300,000 doses of the vaccine is due to arrive in Australia early next year.
Vincent Cornelius is a clinical consultant for ASHM, the peak body for health professionals in Australia and New Zealand who work with patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or sexually transmitted infections.
He said new efficiencies have been achieved in the way the vaccine is delivered – to the outer layers of the skin – which means five people, rather than one person, can now receive a dose from one vial of vaccine.
“I’m sure we can serve everyone who wants to get their first or second dose.”
Only two doses of the MPX vaccine are needed – at least 28 days apart – to provide lifelong protection against the virus.
Vaccine Expert Group, ATAGI, new method of administering the vaccine in August.
Vaccination appointments for those eligible can be made at these locations , , and .

Did we nip the disease in the bud?

ACON HIV Prevention Health Service in New South Wales is working on a national health campaign to encourage more people to get the vaccine once more offers become available.
Mr Painter said the rollout would be accelerated to meet targets by Christmas.
Vincent Cornelius said the rapid spread of the virus, which led to the declaration of a global health emergency in May, shows that vaccine equity remains an issue — and will be important to prevent future outbreaks.

“I think it was a missed opportunity in global health,” he said of the initial response to the disease’s spread outside of Africa.

The five-way cleavage helps the monkeypox vaccine go further

“Monkeypox infections have been circulating in central and west Africa for quite a few years now, despite the fact that we have an effective vaccine.
“It really shows that infectious diseases are not a local problem, infectious diseases are a global problem.
“And as a global health sector, we really need to make sure that we’re helping all countries, regardless of their level of resources, to fight infectious diseases, because otherwise it’s just going to come back to bite us.”
Thorne Harbor Health’s Mr Hawke said he remained “cautiously optimistic” that the early success of the monkeypox vaccine could be sustained and accelerated.

“We’ve had a really amazing initial response to the vaccination rollout. I think we just have to follow through and make sure we continue to see a plateau of these cases. And as soon as these numbers fall abroad, the risk is for us [in Australia] will also be lower.”

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/monkeypox-in-australia-was-in-the-spotlight-just-months-ago-whats-happened-to-it/34tms6z38

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