Monkeypox is Spreading Globally. What You Need to Know about the Sudden Outbreak
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Monkeypox, a common virus in Central and West Africa, is increasing in several countries in Europe and now in the United States of America.
There have been more than 100 cases reported worldwide and the UK Health Security Agency says the outbreak is “significant and concerning” though the risk to its population “remains low.”
The first case was discovered in a man from Massachusetts who traveled from Canada, and a recent case was detected in Florida.
Though anyone is susceptible to the virus, experts say most of the cases were found in gay men.
President Joe Biden said “people should be careful” but it does not “rises to the level of the kind of concern that existed with Covid-19.”
Belgium, with four cases reported on Monday, though, is taking precautions and is the first country to introduce a mandatory 21-day quarantine for monkeypox patients. Close contacts are not required to self-isolate.
How Monkeypox spreads
Experts said the virus does not seem to spread easily between people but can spread through close physical contact with somebody infected.
The early symptoms are the flu, fever and chills, and a rash that can spread from the face to other parts of the body.
The rash of raised spots turns into blisters which clear up within two to four weeks.
Experts say the smallpox vaccine can be used to help limit the spread.
President Biden said vaccines were being offered to close contacts but there were no plans for an “at scale” vaccination program.
“We do have vaccines procured at significant numbers but given the nature of this and how we know it’s spreading, it’s thought to be no clinical requirement for that sort of at scale campaign,” he said.