UVA Health says there are more monkeypox cases than confirmed in Virginia


CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) – Sixty four cases of monkeypox are confirmed in Virginia as of July 24, but UVA Health is saying that’s just a fraction of the real number of cases.

“We are hoping that we’re going to start capturing more of the cases, but I think we can safely say right now that we’re only diagnosing a fraction of the cases that may be present.” UVA Health’s Dr. Costi Sifri said.

Dr. Sifri says this is for two reasons.

“Some patients are not recognizing that they may have monkeypox. What we’re seeing with this outbreak is that compared to the sort of the classic teaching of how monkeypox presents, it is presenting a little bit differently in populations,” Dr. Sifri said.

Even if someone thinks they have monkeypox – testing can be hard to find.

“The amount of testing capacity in the United States is going to increase, hopefully, five or six fold, and those pathways to testing are hopefully going to be easier. So I think with those combinations, we are hoping that we’re going to start capturing more of the cases,” Dr. Sifri said.

There are two options for monkeypox vaccines.

“There’s a more recent vaccine that’s been developed called JYNNEOS, and while it’s the live virus, it doesn’t replicate. It has a much improved safety profile, and that’s a vaccine that’s being used preferentially, but there just hasn’t been that much that’s available,” Dr. Sifri said.

Dr. Sifri says one thousand vaccines are being shipped to Virginia.

“Where are vaccines provided? And how it’s acquired, how it’s accessed from patients? I don’t have the specifics of that. And I think time will tell when we hear those plans. I think we should anticipate that we’ll hear them pretty soon,” Dr. Sifri said.

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