UVA Health on monkeypox concerns
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- There have been multiple confirmed cases and presumed cases of monkeypox across the United States.
One of the presumed cases is in a person living in Northern Virginia, who had recently traveled to an area in Africa where the virus is known to be.
Around the world, there have been hundreds of confirmed cases in almost two dozen countries where the virus does not usually appear.
After more than two years of living under COVID-19 restrictions, a global rise in monkeypox cases may be stoking fears of another pandemic.
At the University of Virginia Health System, experts say monkeypox is in the same viral family as smallpox.
That means it’s treatable most of the time, but monkeypox is also far less contagious than smallpox.
"In terms of the general public, this is not a risk, and it’s certainly not going to be a pandemic like COVID,” said Dr. Costi Sifri, the director of hospital epidemiology at UVA Health. “It's not easily transmitted, it is transmitted through close contact."
Monkeypox usually causes flu-like symptoms first and then a rash will appear on the skin.
The virus is not typically airborne, and it requires sustained intimate physical contact, such as sex, to spread.
Monkeypox can, in some cases, be fatal. It has a mortality rate of between 10 and 17 percent, usually affecting people who are immunocompromised.
As of May 26, the World Health Organization reports there have been more than 250 confirmed cases of monkeypox and another 120 suspected cases globally. So far, no deaths associated with this have been reported.