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CDC: Monkeypox now confirmed in 12 states, Washington DC as cases rise

(NEXSTAR) – Cases of monkeypox continue to rise and have now been confirmed in 12 US states and Washington DC, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

There are now 31 Americans who have contracted monkeypox or are presumed to have it after testing positive for orthopoxvirus, the family of viruses to which monkeypox belongs, according to CDC figures released Monday.

New York has the most cases (7), followed by California (6), Florida (4), Colorado (3), Illinois (2) and Utah (2). Washington DC, Georgia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington all have a confirmed case.

The testing process takes time, as suspected cases are first tested at one of 66 U.S. public health labs that can test for orthopoxvirus, and, if positive, are then sent to CDC headquarters. to Atlanta to be tested for monkeypox, according to The New York Times.

The CDC also issued a Level 2 alert for travelers, urging them to avoid close contact with sick people, dead or alive wild animals, meat prepared from wild game and potentially contaminated materials such as clothing or bedding. Wearing a mask can also help protect against monkeypox, according to the CDC.

The United States is one of many other countries where monkeypox cases typically go unreported.

British health authorities reported a further 77 cases of monkeypox on Monday, bringing the total to more than 300 across the country. To date, the UK has the largest identified outbreak of the disease beyond Africa.

On Sunday, the World Health Organization (WHO) said more than two dozen countries that had yet to identify monkeypox cases had reported 780 cases, a more than 200% increase in cases since late May. . No deaths from monkeypox outside of Africa have yet been identified.

Early symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches, back pain, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and exhaustion. Within a few days, a rash forms and gives way to pustules that can leave scars. The disease lasts about 2 to 4 weeks and mortality data from Africa show that one in 10 people die from it.

The CDC urges US healthcare providers to be alert to patients with such symptoms.

Most cases in Europe and elsewhere have been spotted at sexual health clinics and “have involved primarily, but not exclusively, men who have sex with men”, WHO officials have said, but anyone in contact with a person with monkeypox is at risk.

Last week, the WHO’s leading expert on monkeypox, Dr Rosamund Lewis, said she doubted the disease would trigger a pandemic, but said action should be taken quickly to curb its spread so that it does not take root in new areas.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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