Monkeypox numbers dropping significantly in Seattle, Washington state

Cases of monkeypox have dropped significantly across Washington state, in Seattle, and in many big cities around the country — for a number of different reasons.

Doctors say cases have gone down rapidly mainly because of behavioral changes among men who have sex with men. Many people who might have been at risk of contracting the virus have been vaccinated.

Cases surged in late July, around the time vaccines started to become widely available.

But the weekly case rate in King County plummeted 66% to 22 cases in the week of Aug. 28. Last week, there were just 10 cases.

The vaccine shortage we were hearing about last month is no longer such a big concern.

“For now, we seem to have an adequate supply of vaccine,” said Dr. Matthew Golden with UW Medicine. “Early on, we had this huge demand in people, they heard about monkeypox and they wanted the vaccine — of course, that doesn’t describe the whole population.

“I think we’ve managed to successfully immunize a very large portion of people who that would describe.”

Doctors say more people may have immunity from monkeypox from infection, as more people in the risk groups have been exposed to the virus, the vaccine, or both.

The trend of decreasing cases is happening in many major cities where numbers were surging in June and July.