Monkeypox cases in the U.S. are way down — can the virus be eliminated?

Just a few months ago, it looked like the U.S. had lost its chance to eliminate the spread of monkeypox – that is, stamp out the outbreak and get cases down to zero, except for new infections that come from abroad.

Experts worried it was just a matter of time before the virus started spreading more widely in the U.S., especially in settings like daycare centers and college dorms.

Now it’s clear those concerns did not materialize. Some infectious disease experts are even raising the idea that the U.S. could eliminate the virus.

Monkeypox cases have declined since a peak in early August – from 440 cases a day, down to 60 – and they’re the lowest they’ve been since June. The virus has continued to circulate almost entirely within gay and queer sexual networks. And vaccine supply is plentiful, even outstripping the current demand.

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