Let’s take a deep breath.
Yes, monkeypox cases have been reported in the US, with a presumptive positive case in Florida reported Sunday, May 22. Like COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are keeping the public informed and updating its monkeypox page with more information that becomes available.
Monkeypox was first identified in laboratory monkeys in 1958, Nature reported. The rare disease has been around since 1970 for humans, first found in the Democratic Republic of the Congo that year, but most people haven’t heard about monkeypox until recently.
Should you be worried about monkeypox? What are the burning questions to know about the rare disease? We compiled a guide and will update this file as needed.
Where was the possible monkeypox case in Florida?
Florida’s first presumptive positive case of monkeypox was announced by Broward County health officials on May 22, 2022.
Possible monkeypox case in Florida? The singular case was related to international travel, and the person was isolated
Groups of cases have been reported across the world since May 14 outside of where the disease is considered endemic in Central and West Africa, according to the CDC. On May 20, the CDC issued a health advisory following a confirmed case in the US by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
The first human case of monkeypox was discovered in 1970.
When was the last monkeypox outbreak?
According to the CDC, in 2003, 47 confirmed and probable cases of monkeypox were reported from six states — Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin. “All people infected with monkeypox in this outbreak became ill after having contact with pet prairie dogs. The pets were infected after being housed near imported small mammals from Ghana. This was the first time that human monkeypox was reported outside of Africa,” the CDC states.
How did monkeypox get in the US in 2022?
The first US case this year was a Massachusetts man who tested positive on May 18 after returning from a trip to Canada, the CDC said. A second case was suspected in New York City. The CDC is also tracking cases in Europe.
The CDC said it’s not known how people were exposed to monkeypox but that “cases include people who self-identify as men who have sex with men.”
A closer look: Reports of rare monkeypox cases around the world raise concern
First US case of monkeypox in 2022 was found in Massachusetts, confirmed by CDC
Is monkeypox deadly? Is there a cure?
Currently, there is no proven, safe treatment for monkeypox virus infection.
How is monkeypox transmissible?
The CDC states, “monkeypox is usually passed to humans from rodents and primates, through bites, aerosol transmission or contact with infected fluids.
Person-to-person transmission is usually through close contact with respiratory secretions, inflected skin lesions or recently contaminated objects, according to the World Health Organization.
Possible human-to-human transmission includes:
• coughing. If an infected person coughs, it can be spread through respiratory droplets via the eye, nose or mouth.
• pets. The virus can be transmitted by a bite, scratch or body fluids. Rodents are the primary source.
• broken skin. The virus can enter the body through broken skin, even if the break is not visible.
What are monkeypox symptoms?
Monkeypox symptoms are milder than those of smallpox, according to the CDC.
It begins with fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion. Within 1 to 3 days after fever, the patient develops a rash, often beginning on the face and then spreading to other parts of the body. Incubation period (time from infection to symptoms) is usually 7-14 days but can range from 5-21 days.
What’s the difference between chickenpox and monkeypox?
According to the CDC, chickenpox is “Chickenpox is very contagious. If one person has it, up to 90% of the people close to that person who are not immune will also become infected. Chickenpox can also be serious, even life-threatening, especially in babies, adolescents, adults, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems.Before the vaccine was available, about 4 million people got chickenpox each year in the United States, over 10,500 of those people were hospitalized, and about 100-150 people died.”
“Chickenpox is a highly contagious disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV). It can cause an itchy, blister-like rash. The rash appears first on the chest, back, and face, and then spreads over the entire body. “
Why is monkeypox called monkeypox?
Monkeypox was discovered in 1958 when two outbreaks of a pox-like disease occurred in colonies of monkeys kept for research, inspiring the name “monkeypox.”
How do you prevent monkeypox?
According to the CDC, people can prevent infection with the monkeypox virus by:
• avoiding contact with animals that could harbor the virus (including animals that are sick or that have been found dead in areas where monkeypox occurs).
• avoiding contact with materials such as bedding that has been in contact with a sick animal.
• isolating infected patients from others who could be at risk for infection.
• practicing good hand hygiene after contact with infected animals or humans, like washing your hands with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
• using personal protective equipment (PPE) when caring for patients.
Janet Loehrke and George Petras of USA TODAY contributed to this article.
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