Washington, D.C., has the highest rate of monkeypox cases in the nation, and cases are largely concentrated in the District’s gay male residents.
That metric was revealed by Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt, the director of DC Health, during a Monday press conference where Mayor Muriel Bowser shared that D.C. has recorded 122 cases of the virus since May.
“We are specifically working with reaching out to members of the LGBTQ+ community, specifically gay and bisexual men, because those are the communities most affected by the virus at this moment,” Ms. Bowser said.
Men make up 96% of D.C.’s cases of monkeypox, with 82% of those men identifying as gay, according to Dr. Nesbitt.
The median age of those infected is 32, with slightly over 60% of all reported cases coming from White men.
WRC-TV, the NBC affiliate for the D.C. area, reported that the District’s case rate is about one case per 6,500 residents.
That puts D.C. far ahead of New York (one case per 40,000 residents), Illinois (one case per 73,000) and California (one case per 148,000).
“While the majority of the cases are occurring in individuals who identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community, this is not a disease of the LGBTQ+ community.” Dr. Nesbitt said.
So far, the city has administered 2,600 doses of the JYENNOS vaccine, which is a two-dose regimen.
Dr. Nesbitt said that the District has received 8,300 doses of the vaccine so far, and is set to receive another 4,000 doses from the federal government.