Symptoms spawned by monkeypox 1:33 (CNN) — Officials at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are keeping a close eye on recent clusters of infections of monkeypox worldwide and possible cases in the United States. The CDC is currently monitoring six people in the United States for possible monkeypox infections after they sat near an infected traveler who had symptoms during a flight from Nigeria to the United Kingdom in early May. Separately, CDC officials are also investigating a confirmed case of monkeypox in a Massachusetts man who had recently traveled to Canada. And the New York City Department of Health is investigating a possible infection in a patient currently at Bellevue Hospital. “The Department of Health’s Public Health Laboratory will conduct preliminary tests which, if positive, will be forwarded to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for confirmatory testing,” the department said in a statement. statement this Thursday. Canada investigating cases of monkeypox in homosexuals 0:26 Meanwhile, recent monkeypox infections have been identified in several other regions of the world where the virus is not usually common, including Canada, Great Britain, Italy, Northern Ireland and Spain. “We have a level of scientific concern about what we’re seeing because this is a very unusual situation. Monkeypox is typically only reported in West Africa or Central Africa, and we don’t see it in the United States or Europe, and the amount of cases being reported is definitely outside the normal range of what we would see,” Jennifer McQuiston, deputy director of the Division of High Consequence Pathogens and Pathology at the CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, told CNN Thursday. “At the same time, there really aren’t that many cases being reported, I think maybe a dozen, a couple dozen, so the general public shouldn’t be concerned about the immediate risk of getting monkeypox,” he added. “We are working on investigations.” In general, “we have people being monitored for illness all the time,” CDC spokeswoman Christine Pearson wrote in an email Thursday. That means if someone may have been exposed to a pathogen, their health is monitored and they should see doctors if they develop symptoms. As for the six people currently being monitored for possible monkeypox in the country, Pearson wrote that all “are healthy, have no symptoms, and are considered low risk for monkeypox.” The official added that none was sitting next to the sick passenger and none had direct contact. As the CDC investigation continues, discussions have begun to include the topic of vaccines. CDC ‘Discussing and Evaluating’ Monkeypox Vaccine CDC officials are evaluating whether to offer the smallpox vaccine to health care workers treating monkeypox patients and others who may have a “high risk” of exposure to monkeypox, McQuiston said. “It’s definitely something that we’re discussing and evaluating, if offering smallpox vaccine makes sense in the current environment,” she said. “We’ll be closer to making recommendations for that in the next few days.” The smallpox virus that causes smallpox and the monkeypox virus are somewhat related, as they are both members of the genus Orthopoxvirus, which belongs to the scientific family of “chicken pox” viruses. Therefore, some of the same vaccines given to prevent smallpox have also been shown to prevent monkeypox. Although the viruses are related, monkeypox is less contagious than smallpox and causes less severe disease. “We have vaccines in stock and available to use, and if they are seen as a way to help control this outbreak, we have the availability to use them,” McQuiston said. “I would say that we are in the early days of understanding what is causing this outbreak, and the fact that we are seeing cases reported in various places around the world suggests that maybe it has been going on for a couple of weeks,” McQuiston said. “As we work to complete our investigations and get down to business, hopefully we’ll have much stronger recommendations for people.” Monkeypox, a viral disease, is rare in the United States and the virus does not occur naturally in the nation, according to the CDC. But cases have been identified that were associated with international travel or the importation of animals from areas where the disease is more common. After the virus jumps from an animal to a human, person-to-person transmission of monkeypox can occur when a person encounters the virus through direct contact with: large respiratory droplets, bodily fluids, or injuries to the skin. Symptoms of monkeypox can include fever, headache, muscle aches, and swollen lymph nodes. A feature of the disease is that it can cause lesions and rashes on the body, including the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet. “This is not a disease that is going to spread across the country,” Dr. Daniel Bausch, president of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, told CNN on Thursday. “From a public health standpoint of course we need to investigate and respond, I think the general population should be aware of this, but there’s certainly no reason to panic and I think it’s very, very, very little. likely that we will have some kind of large outbreak of this,” he said. “And if you haven’t had contact in Massachusetts and you’re not related to or in that relationship with the person who had the disease, until we have some other reason to hope or understand how this disease got to the United States, the risk of contracting smallpox monkey is really short. They investigate a case of monkeypox in the US 0:39 The mystery of the spread of monkeypox cases In Massachusetts, doctors who use the same personal protective equipment they use for covid-19 patients have been treating the US monkeypox patient in a special pathogens unit within Massachusetts General Hospital, where he was originally diagnosed. “He was undergoing an examination related to symptoms and the infectious disease doctor who saw the patient, hearing of some of the cases in the UK, decided that the patient could possibly have monkeypox,” the agency told CNN. Dr. Erica Shenoy, medical director of the Regional Emerging Special Pathogens Treatment Center and associate chief of the infection control unit at Massachusetts General Hospital, Thursday. “Then we had discussions with our state public health officials. The decision was made that yes, he met the criteria for testing,” Shenoy said. The patient tested positive. “I think for the general public, there really isn’t a clear risk right now,” Shenoy said. “This is an evolving situation that we are trying to understand better: why these clusters that have also been reported in the UK and in Portugal and Spain are happening, and to better understand the epidemiology.” In both the UK and Canada, health authorities have noted that many cases of monkeypox have been identified in men who have sex with men, but the virus is not usually described as a sexually transmitted infection and research into these recent cases. Monkeypox was first discovered in 1958 when two outbreaks of a smallpox-like disease were observed in monkey colonies kept for research, leading to the name “monkeypox,” according to the CDC. The first human case of monkeypox was reported years later, in 1970, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, during a time when intensive efforts were being made to eliminate smallpox. In the United States, the last recorded outbreak of monkeypox was in 2003, when 47 confirmed and probable cases were reported in six states: Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin. “No case of monkeypox infection was attributed exclusively to person-to-person contact,” according to the CDC. All of the people infected with monkeypox during that outbreak became ill after contact with pet prairie dogs, the CDC found. Those pets were housed at an animal dealer’s facility in Illinois, where they may have been infected with the virus. The facility housed other small mammals imported from Ghana that have tested positive for the monkeypox virus: two African giant rats, nine dormouse and three rope squirrels. “The prairie dogs got monkeypox from imported animals and then passed it on to humans,” Bausch said. “It’s a bit of a misnomer to call it monkeypox. The reservoir for this virus, the natural reservoir in nature, is probably certain types of rodents.” Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy said Thursday that people shouldn’t worry about monkeypox right now, but should be aware of the symptoms and when to seek help. Murthy explained on CNN’s New Day that monkeypox is rare in humans, “but when it does happen, it’s serious and we need to investigate, and we need to make sure we understand if it’s spreading from person to person and how it spreads.” . Symptoms are generally flu-like, he told CNN’s John Berman and Erica Hill. “The good news is that we only have one confirmed case right now. But we always have to be on the lookout for more cases,” he said. “Right now, we don’t want people to be concerned. At this point, again, these numbers are still small; we want people to be aware of these symptoms and if they have any concerns, to contact their doctor.”
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