NECA in the Know Special Edition Episode: All about Monkeypox

NECA in the Know is a podcast for providers in the HIV field. Produced by the Northeast/Caribbean (NECA) AETC and hosted by Marianna Breytman, NECA AETC’s Senior Educational Technologist, each episode features a short informative discussion with national experts on current and emergent issues in HIV prevention, treatment, and care.

In a recent special edition episode (recorded June 28, 2022), Marianna sat down with Marshall Glesby, MD, PhD, Regional Clinical Director for NECA AETC, and Associate Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases and Director of the HIV Clinical Trials Unit at Weill Cornell Medicine, to discuss monkeypox. Monkeypox is a variola virus (genus Orthopoxvirus), like smallpox and cowpox. The virus is endemic in Africa, but prior to April 2022 it was rarely detected in humans outside of the continent. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevent (CDC) now estimates there are >15,800 cases in 72 countries and 2,593 confirmed cases in the U.S. (as of July 21, 2022). The World Health Organization, along with separate reports from international surveillance, estimate that between 30% to 51% of people with monkeypox are known to have HIV, [1] [2]and in the U.S., the infection has been predominantly diagnosed in men who have sex with men (MSM). In response, the CDC issued Clinical Considerations for Treatment and Prophylaxis of Monkeypox Virus Infection in People with HIV.

In the All About Monkeypox episode, Marianna and Dr. Glesby discuss the history of monkeypox, treatment options, vaccines, and how healthcare providers are addressing the current outbreak. Here are a few key takeaways from this episode:

Transmission:

  • Monkeypox is transmitted primarily from person-to-person through direct contact with lesions and body fluids or through respiratory secretions (droplets) via prolonged face-to-face encounters or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling, or sex.

Infection & Treatment:

  • The incubation period is about 5-21 days, and the illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks.
  • There is no FDA-approved treatment for monkeypox, though tecovirimat (also known as TPOXX or ST-246) approved for the treatment of smallpox is being used to treat people with monkeypox who have severe disease or who are at risk of severe disease. This treatment is only available through a CDC expanded access program.
  • Immunocompromised, including people with HIV, young children, people with atopic dermatitis and active exfoliative skin conditions, and those who are pregnant/breastfeeding, are at risk of severe disease.

Vaccines:

To learn more about why the current spread of monkeypox matters and what you as a provider can do to keep yourself and others safe, listen to the full All About Monkeypox podcast episode, and others, on Spotify, Apple Podcast, or Stitcher. If you have any questions or comments about this episode or if you have suggestions for topics to explore, email [email protected].


[1] Multi-country outbreak of monkeypox. July 6, 20222. World Health Organization. https://cdn.who.int/media/docs/default-source/2021-dha-docs/20220706_monkeypox_external_sitrep_final.pdf?sfvrsn=1b580b3d_4&download=true

[2] Thornhill, J. P., Al., E., Group*, for the S. H. A. R. E.-net C., Author AffiliationsFrom the Blizard Institute and the SHARE Collaborative, Fauci, H. C. L., and A. S., Others, D. K. H. and, Others, R. A. F. and, Others, D.-W. P. and, Others, F. C. and, Others, J. M. and, & Barouch, D. H. (2022, August 25). Monkeypox virus infection in humans across 16 countries - April–June 2022: Nejm. New England Journal of Medicine. Retrieved July 26, 2022, from https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2207323

Browse more by: