A detailed analysis of monkeypox case records published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday offers new insight into the outbreak, which is disproportionately affecting men who have sex with men, especially those who are Black and Hispanic.
There were 2,891 cases of monkeypox reported in the United States by July 22, about two months after the country's first case was reported. Case report forms with additional epidemiologic and clinical information were submitted to the CDC for 41% of those cases, though not all details were complete in all of those forms.
Among the cases with available data, 94% were in men who reported recent sexual or close intimate contact with another man. More than half (54%) of cases were among Black and Hispanic people, a group that represents about a third (34%) of the general US population. And the share of cases among Black people has grown in recent weeks, according to the CDC analysis.
"Public health efforts should prioritize gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men, who are currently disproportionately affected, for prevention and testing, while addressing equity, minimizing stigma, and maintaining vigilance for transmission in other populations," the authors of the report say.