Growing Monkeypox Response Receives Key Support

As the monkeypox outbreak continues to spread, infecting nearly 56,000 people in 100 countries, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is stepping up efforts to respond to the outbreak through resources, education and outreach to the communities most affected.

In early September, that effort received a critical boost when the CDC Foundation activated its Emergency Response Fund, which has played an essential role in helping bolster other responses, from Ebola to Zika to, most recently, COVID-19. On the same day, the CDC Foundation announced a catalytic donation of $1 million from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in support of the fund.

Though rarely fatal, monkeypox is a serious disease typically beginning with flu-like illness and swelling of the lymph nodes, progressing to include rash on the face and body. In this outbreak, monkeypox has spread mostly during intimate contact, including sex, hugging, kissing and the touching of fabrics. Most of those affected in the current outbreak are gay, bisexual or other men who have sex with men, however, anyone who has come in close, personal contact with someone who has monkeypox is at risk.

Data show a growing disparity in vaccination rates among different racial and ethnic groups, creating an urgent need for enhanced communication efforts to reach those most at-risk with accurate and timely health information. The United States currently has more than 21,000 cases of monkeypox—more than any nation.

To check the spread of the virus, CDC has been focusing its efforts largely at the community level, where the impact of the outbreaks is being felt most acutely. Through individuals and partners giving to the Emergency Response Fund, the CDC Foundation will support items such as comprehensive communications campaigns to key audiences and education materials that raise awareness about key protective measures. The funds will also help to provide items like critical testing supplies and community outreach activities, vaccination events and support for community health organizations and partners.

Cross sectoral partnerships between individuals, businesses, philanthropies and community groups are critical in organizing an effective response to the monkeypox outbreak. While the spread of the virus presents a formidable challenge, the CDC Foundation is well-positioned to work closely with CDC and public health partners to learn about and address the needs and gaps, and create healthier communities

Please make a donation today to the Emergency Response Fund to help us respond quickly to stop the spread of monkeypox. Together our impact is greater.

David Snyder
David Snyder is the content director for the CDC Foundation.