More than a dozen states have reported a total of 31 monkeypox cases as of Tuesday, leading the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to bump the disease to alert Level 2 out of 3.
The agency is urging “enhanced precautions,” including wearing masks while traveling. The illness typically starts with flu-like symptoms such as fever, body aches, and fatigue. Some patients also develop rashes and lesions.
CDC official Jennifer McQuiston said the disease may have been circulating in the U.S. long before it was detected because some cases were misdiagnosed. She said it is unlikely to trigger another pandemic but needs to be curbed to prevent mass transmission to rodents and pets.
How is the international outbreak? There have been more than 1,000 cases recorded globally as of Tuesday, with over 300 in the United Kingdom.
European outbreaks began appearing last month after a series of raves in Spain and Belgium. Doctors say it appears to be sexually transmitted between homosexual men, but one heterosexual woman has been identified as a patient.
While most cases have been mild and resolved in a couple of weeks, four African countries where monkeypox is endemic have reported 63 deaths this year.
This story originally appeared in WORLD. © 2022, reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.