Maryland monkeypox dashboard shows how many are affected and where

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Maryland health officials have launched a dashboard to detail cases of monkeypox, and the latest numbers show the 461 cases are largely in Baltimore City and the suburbs of Washington.

Infections are disproportionately affecting Black residents, with almost half of the cases, and they are largely younger adults. Almost half, 47.5%, are in their 30s and about a quarter are in their 20s.


The dashboard was created by the Maryland Department of Health to better understand the effects of the latest virus circulating in the state and how to direct information and resources.

“This tool will further help health care providers deliver the care that is needed to Marylanders affected by human monkeypox,” Maryland Health Secretary Dennis R. Schrader said in a statement. “The dashboard also builds on the information about human monkeypox that the state has been providing to help residents stay healthy and safe.”


Officials plan to update the dashboard on Fridays and include case counts by jurisdiction and demographic information, including age, sex, race and ethnicity.

Of the 461 cases statewide, 133 were in Baltimore City, 36 were in Baltimore County and 29 in Anne Arundel County, with the rest in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.

The dashboard also includes vaccination numbers. As of Aug. 26, there were 2,124 people given the shots, which have been in short supply. They largely are being given to close contacts of those infected and health care and lab workers who may have been exposed.

Health departments will distribute the two-dose vaccine as supplies from federal authorities allow. Though, state officials are concentrating on local health departments in Baltimore City and Montgomery, Prince George’s and Baltimore counties, where cases are highest.

The departments are offering vaccine to self-identified partners of people with infections, those in high-risk populations who report sex with multiple partners, or employment at a venue where monkeypox transmission was reported.

“Our goal is to make sure Maryland residents most at-risk for human monkeypox have the opportunity to get a vaccine,” said Dr. Jinlene Chan, deputy secretary for public health services, in a statement. “If you think you may have been exposed to human monkeypox or are eligible for the vaccine, which is free, please reach out to your local health department.”

The vaccine has, nonetheless, not been available to all who want it.

Anne Arundel County is allowing residents to preregister for the vaccine, and indicated “the supply of vaccine is very limited and the county, under the guidance of the state health department, will only offer vaccinations to a limited number of eligible residents who are at highest risk of contracting the virus,” officials said in a release.


Officials will contact residents when appointments are available.

Lynda Dee, a community advocate and founder of AIDS Action Baltimore, commended the state health department for launching the public dashboard but said more must be done with the information gathered.

“This information will be invaluable to health departments, medical professionals and advocates across the state,” she said. “Unfortunately, the data that we’ve learned about from the dashboard is extremely concerning. Not only have the cases risen considerably, but 57.3% of the cases affect Black people in Maryland. This is completely unacceptable. Local health departments, as well as the state health department, need to address this blatant disparity.”

She did point to the move to split doses as a means of protecting more people more quickly.

Earlier this month in response to fast-rising cases and the slow dissemination of vaccine, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized health care providers to divide a Jynneos vaccine dose into five and inject it under the top layer of skin.

Chase Cook, a spokesman for the state health department, said there will be more doses from each vial but officials can’t immediately say how many more.


“Maryland has recommended that our monkeypox vaccine providers follow the recent change in federal administration guidance,” he said. “We continue to work with Maryland’s providers on enhanced training and technical assistance as requested.”

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Cook said officials will continue working with community partners to distribute vaccine and information. The officials recently participated in a town hall in Prince George’s County, which has the most confirmed cases.

Monkeypox was first detected in Maryland on June 16, about a month after cases began arising across the country. There are now 17,432 U.S. cases, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Monkeypox is spread through close contact with an infected person, and initially flummoxed public health experts who said the virus endemic to African countries rarely spread human to human, but rather from animals. It largely began spreading through groups of men who have sex with men. Officials were slow to react to infections that were first seen in Europe, where it was rarely seen, and scrambled to distribute tests and vaccines and develop proper messaging to warn the public most at risk.

Monkeypox isn’t usually fatal but causes painful lesions and swollen lymph nodes, fever and chills. People often need weeks of isolation to recover.

A study released Aug. 26 by the CDC showed that messaging developed to warn appropriate populations but avoid stigma was getting out. About half of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men who were surveyed had begun reducing their sex partners, one-time sexual encounters and use of dating apps since the monkeypox outbreak.


Receipt of vaccine, used before and after exposure, to prevent monkeypox, had varied by race, ethnicity and geography. About 1 in 5 of about 3,000 respondents reported receiving vaccine. Uptake was highest among Hispanic men and lowest among Black men and higher in urban and suburban areas.

“It is important that federal, state, and local public health programs continue to deliver tailored, respectful harm reduction messages that do not create stigma to diverse communities of” men who have sex with men, the CDC report said. “Vaccine programs should prioritize efforts to maximize equitable access to vaccines to prevent monkeypox.”