WASHINGTON — In late August CDC Director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky said she was cautiously optimistic that monkeypox infections might be slowing down.
"So we have started to see globally that we may be turning a corner," she said.
Although she added: "that said, I also want to say that week-over-week, our numbers are still increasing. The rate of rise is lower, but we are still seeing increases. And we are, of course, a very diverse country, and things are not even across the country."
Cases are dropping in part due to vaccine availability and education about the virus, Dr. Walensky explained.
Some online are asking whether that trend is continuing.
Are monkeypox cases declining in the U.S.? Are new cases dropping regionally?
WHAT WE FOUND:
Our VERIFY researchers analyzed weekly case data on the CDC's website.
Nationally new monkeypox cases peaked in the middle of August when there were 3,246 new cases in a week.
Since then new cases have been dropping. In the latest week of data, there were 1,699 new cases between Sept. 1-7, representing a drop of almost 48% since the peak.
“I believe that some of the reason for that is we're starting to see some of our mitigation strategies and tactics starting to improve outcomes here reduce the number of cases," Dr. Adam Brown, an emergency physician, said.
It's also true that new cases have declined regionally in D.C., Maryland and Virginia, compared to summer-time peaks.
In D.C., the peak was back in July, when there were 92 new cases in a single week. In the latest week of data, that number was 25 new cases.
In Maryland, the peak hit in late August with 112 new cases in a week. The latest week saw 37 new cases
In Virginia, new cases reached their height in mid-August at 59 new cases. The latest week showed 44 additional cases.
So we can VERIFY, both nationally and regionally, that the latest data show case numbers are trending down from the peak. However, Dr. Brown said one shouldn’t jump to conclusions.
“That does not mean that the virus is completely going to be eradicated tomorrow, that just means that the trend line is down, that trend line can turn and go the opposite direction," he said.