Monkeypox Has Come to the United States — Here’s What to Expect

Monkeypox Has Come to the United States --- Here's What to Expect

This “Rare” Disease Is Spreading – The Details Are Disturbing

( – The rare African monkeypox virus has now reached the US, with one confirmed case reported and two probable ones under investigation. It’s not a disease Americans are familiar with — there’s only been one previous outbreak.

On May 18, the CDC confirmed a Massachusetts man has tested positive for monkeypox, the first case in the US since 71 people in the Midwest caught it from imported African rodents in 2003. The next day, the New York City Department of Health said a suspected case was in isolation at Bellevue Hospital. Now, officials in Broward County, FL are investigating a “presumptive” case.

Monkeypox is caused by an Orthopoxvirus, the same family as cowpox and smallpox. It normally infects primates, including monkeys, and other wildlife in West Africa and the Congo Basin. It does sometimes jump to humans, though, usually through handling infected animals or bushmeat. In humans, the disease begins with headaches, muscle pain, fatigue, and fever. A few days later, prominent fluid-filled bumps appear, then burst and scab over. The disease usually lasts two to four weeks.

The virus is spread by close or intimate contact, and the CDC is warning gay and bisexual men seem to be at risk. They’re advising the public to avoid contact with animals that could carry the virus, including sick or dead ones found in areas where monkeypox has been reported. People should also wash their hands with soap or sanitizer after touching infected animals or humans. Medical personnel should wear personal protection equipment (PPE) around monkeypox cases and isolate them from other patients. So far it’s all advice that sounds pretty familiar.

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