DURHAM, N.C (WNCN) → Monkeypox cases across the United States are on the decline. 

“Nationally, we’ve had a decline on average now actually for a couple months which is super reassuring,” said Dr. Cameron Wolfe, Infectious Disease Specialist with Duke Health.

“Most of that up until recently was driven really by declines in New York and Chicago, Miami, and cities that were hit hard really early on, whereas for those of us in the south, our wave of cases was later,” said Wolfe. “I suspect what’s happened is we’ve reached our plateau later and now also started to come down.”

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the downward trend.

At its peak, there were 536 U.S. monkeypox cases reported on Aug. 1. As of Oct. 12, there were 63 cases.

Wolfe said the decline is driven by a couple of factors.  

“I think number one is awareness,” he said. “People are now suddenly beginning to become more aware of this as a condition, understand groups of individuals who have been at risk and how to prevent them getting sick and more importantly we’ve had a pretty successful rollout of vaccines.”

While monkeypox cases trend down, Wolfe encourages people not to let their guard down.

“People need to understand their risk,” he said. “They need to think about whether they feel they are at risk and if they are, they should get vaccinated.”

To learn more about Monkeypox vaccine locations and current eligibility criteria, click here.