US monkeypox cases climb, another reported in Colorado

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The number of monkeypox cases in the U.S. has climbed to 12, with a second case reported in Colorado. 

In a press release from the state’s Department of Public Health and Environment, the state assured Friday that the risk of catching the virus remains low. 

“The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Public Health Laboratory has confirmed a second presumptive monkeypox case and is awaiting CDC confirmation,” it wrote. “The person who acquired the virus was a close contact of a person known to public health as a presumptive case of monkeypox and is cooperating with state and local public health epidemiologists who are investigating and notifying people who may have been exposed.”

The case is in a young adult male who sought care in the Denver area and is reportedly isolated and improving at home.

WHO: NEARLY 200 CASES OF MONKEYPOX VIRUS ACROSS MORE THAN 20 COUNTRIES

The first presumptive case of monkeypox was found in a man who had recently traveled to Canada.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tracker shows two cases across the country, including two in Colorado, California. Florida and Utah. 

An image created during an investigation into an outbreak of monkeypox, which took place in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), 1996 to 1997, shows the hands of a patient with a rash due to monkeypox, in this undated image obtained by Reuters on May 18, 2022. 

An image created during an investigation into an outbreak of monkeypox, which took place in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), 1996 to 1997, shows the hands of a patient with a rash due to monkeypox, in this undated image obtained by Reuters on May 18, 2022.  (CDC/Brian W.J. Mahy/Handout via REUTERS)

Washington, Massachusetts, New York and Virginia all have one case, according to agency data. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) said Friday that nearly 200 cases of monkeypox have been recorded worldwide, with cases found in more than 20 countries not usually known to have outbreaks of the virus.

VIRGINIA HAS ITS FIRST PRESUMED MONKEYPOX CASE: REPORT

Traditionally, monkeypox virus is spread by touching or getting bitten by infected wild animals in western and central Africa.

However, the former World Health Organization’s (WHO) emergencies department leader told The Associated Press earlier this week that cases in Europe appear to have spread due to sexual activity at raves in Spain and Belgium. 

While it is not a sexually transmitted infection, it can be transmitted in both personal and sexual contact, with a notable fraction of recorded cases occurring among gay and bisexual men.

To treat monkeypox, some smallpox vaccines and therapeutics are available – no vaccines have been specifically developed against monkeypox – and the WHO proposed creating a stockpile to equitably share what was available. 

The CDC said last week that there are vaccine doses to prevent the monkeypox virus in the Strategic National Stockpile and that production will “ramp up” quickly in the coming weeks. 

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Symptoms of the virus – which is from the same family of viruses as smallpox – include fever, chills, rash and aches, before lesions develop. 

The majority of patients recover within several weeks without requiring hospitalization.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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