The monkeypox outbreak is showing early signs of waning, with some areas of the country — and world — reporting fewer cases on average.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky told Yahoo Finance Friday that the agency has noted the decline in some regions, but that overall cases are still rising.
"We have seen in some areas of the world, a flattening of those new cases. We're starting to see some of that in some jurisdictions here in the United States," Walensky said. “We're following this very carefully. We still have had an increase in cases here in the United States.”
Still, the agency and the Biden administration are focused on increasing vaccinations. That includes pilot programs with community partners, which means increased access to vaccines and treatments, and ordering more JYNNEOS vaccine doses — of which 150,000 vials are expected to be delivered by maker Bavarian Nordic (BVNRY) by the end of September, at the earliest.
As of now, a majority of the doses delivered have been first doses, according to the CDC.
The White House Monkeypox Response team members, including Walensky, said later Friday that members of the affected LGBTQ+ community, mainly men who have sex with men (MSM), have also taken action to help flatten the curve.
A new report from the CDC showed 50% of MSM have altered their behavior in order to avoid being infected. Yet, there is still a small percentage of cases that have been reported in women and children, but the transmission has been through known cases or exposure to known cases, rather than any new transmission routes.
The threat to a larger population still lingers, as the current strain of monkeypox has been behaving differently than in decades past.
But while some urban jurisdictions show signs of slowing — like New York, Chicago, and San Francisco — others are still seeing a rise. However, the signs have given Walensky a reason to be cautiously optimistic, she said Friday.
Walensky credited the "harm reduction messages being heard and implemented."
She told Yahoo Finance earlier Friday that getting information out more quickly to the general public is something the agency has started to do, as a key learning from the failed COVID-19 response.
"Just this past week we've we've released new monkeypox data, survey data pre-publication, new data on demographics of who's getting access to...TPOXX (SIGA) for monkeypox treatment. So we are taking those lessons learned and applying them immediately," Walensky said.
Anjalee Khemlani is a reporter at Yahoo Finance covering all things business, with a focus on health care.
Follow Anjalee on Twitter @AnjKhem