UPDATED 7:21 AM PT – Thursday, June 2, 2022
The CDC is investigating a suspected case of monkeypox in Georgia along with two new cases in New York City. On Wednesday, the Georgia Department of Health said it’s looking into the Peach State’s first possible case of monkeypox in a man with a history of international travel.
In addition to that case, the New York Health Department reported two more people tested positive for the virus. New York City confirmed it’s first case of monkeypox last month. According to officials, the patient was quarantined as they conducted an investigation.
Earlier this week, the CDC had reported 10 cases of monkeypox across the US. The World Health Organization warned the ongoing spread of monkeypox could go undetected for weeks as it reported more than 550 cases worldwide.
Monkeypox causes flu-like symptoms before the characteristic rash develops. The virus is spread through close contact with people, animals or material infected with the virus. It enters the body through broken skin, the respiratory tract, the eyes, nose and mouth
“We’ve seen a few cases in Europe over the last five years, just in travelers,” said Dr. Rosamund Lewis, who runs the WHO’s smallpox research. “This is the first time we’re seeing cases across many countries at the same time in people who have not traveled to the endemic regions in Africa.”
WHO is working with affected countries to stop transmission of #monkeypox (MPX), to provide accurate information to groups most at risk and to protect frontline health workers https://t.co/CBDuiLtHo4 pic.twitter.com/xayhFhxMZx
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) June 2, 2022
The outbreak quickly advanced across Europe and North America. It’s expected to be far more widespread as more doctors look for the signs and symptoms. The CDC has put medical professionals on alert and is warning those with higher risk factors, particularly men who have sex with other men, to be vigilant.
“Many diseases can be spread through sexual contact,” said WHO advisor Andy Seale. “You could get a cough or a cold through sexual contact. It doesn’t mean that it’s a sexually transmitted disease.”
Seale’s agreed many of the people infected in the current outbreak identify as gay or bisexual, but asserted “this is a virus that could affect anyone.” Monkeypox is taking over the global conversation and has left many questioning the validity of the virus’s actual threat. PCR tests are used to identify the infection.