While the number of Americans with known monkeypox infections is dropping, that may signal what’s happening in big cities, experts say.
It is not the end of the outbreak, they warn.
Cases are down about 40% in the United States, an NBC News analysis finds. The seven-day average of newly reported cases had a daily average of 281 on Aug. 31, down from 465 on Aug. 10.
Still, that drop is “only one measure” of what’s happening, Dr. Bruce Lee, a professor of health policy and management at the City University of New York Graduate School of Public Health, tells NBC News.
“What we really want to know is the geographic spread of the virus,” Lee says.
The first monkeypox cases in this outbreak were reported in May. The United States has reported over 19,400 cases since then. About 16,200 cases were reported in August alone.
Now, reductions in reported cases in metropolises like Los Angeles and New York City are driving a downward shift.
Why are cases declining?
The decline in cases may be because of measures taken by those most at risk of contracting the virus, which are men who have sex with men and their sexual partners.
Research from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has shown a 50% reduction in