In case you have been living under a rock or off the grid, monkeypox is now being considered a public health emergency, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The viral disease typically has affected rodents and primates in the rainforest areas of central and west Africa. This virus is similar to smallpox and can be transmitted to humans if you are not careful.
The virus is transmitted to humans by close physical contact with the individual that has been infected mostly through skin to skin contact with an individual who has open lesions. The symptoms include: rashes, spots, fever, headache, painful lymph glands, chills, or exhaustion. They also include genital lesions or lesions on any part of the body, and sores of the mouth or anus. According to Gene News, monkeypox can easily be misdiagnosed because it can appear to be similar to other sexually transmitted infections. And while most cases have been found in gay or bisexual men, there is fear that the virus could high house hold transmission.
The number of monkeypox cases are reported to have tripled within the past three weeks alone with 40 states confirming someone with the virus, according to the data from Centers For Disease Control and Prevention. NPR reported that over 3000 Americans have been infected. Puerto Rico and Washington D.C. lead the nation with the most number of individuals infected grossing at 19 cases per 100,00 residents with New York, Illinois and Georgia being the runner ups. Chicago alone is reporting to have just under 300 cases, according to ABC 7 News.
Within the last three weeks, down south (Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, West Virginia, South Dakota, Delaware, Kansas, and South Carolina) and New Mexico recorded their first ever cases of monkeypox. Within the last four weeks, New York’s cases rose as well from a whopping 87 to an alarming 711 cases. That means the people infected happened eightfold. Cali also has a serious issue with monkeypox infected individuals coming from 111 to a devastating 356.
The rapid spread of monkeypox is causing officials to be pessimistic saying, “I think the window for getting control of this and containing it probably has closed. If it hasn’t closed, it’s certainly starting to close” said former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb.
Although a monkeypox vaccine has been approved by the FDA the distribution of the doses has been plagued by supply shortages and technical issues. You may want to avoid raves or parties in which you can come in contact with skin to skin and if you suspect anyone might have this virus avoid contact all together and seek medical help.
By Jay Bryant