CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- There are new cases of monkeypox in Central Virginia as the White House has declared a public health emergency.

According to the Virginia Department of Health website, anyone can get and spread monkeypox. However, area health experts say they have a tiny amount of vaccines.

Local experts say the risk to the general public is low at this time, but it's important to be careful.

Leanna Knox with the Blue Ridge Health District says they have an extremely limited supply of vaccines.

"We are not going to get an amount where everybody is going to have a vaccine,” she said. “In fact, it is not even recommended that you even get a vaccine."

This illness isn't as contagious as COVID-19, according to Dr. Costi Sifri with the University of Virginia Health System.

"It’s not something that is being transmitted easily through casual contact, and therefore people need to understand that the risk is different than other illnesses we have been dealing with, for example, COVID," he said.

All but one of the reported cases in Virginia are in men but it can infect anyone.

"Also to recognize it could be transmitted through any two individuals that have close contact through shared items, through respiratory droplets, or through physical contact," Sifri said.

BRHD said the term "health emergency" shouldn't scare people. Instead, it should encourage people to educate themselves on what is happening and be careful.

"It’s not necessarily equivocal to say that everyone needs to get a vaccine,” said Knox. “We don't want anyone to panic. We want people to be educated and are making choices on their behavior to keep themselves safe."

As of Friday, there are 139 cases in Virginia, eight of which are in the northwest region, which includes BRHD's service area.

There are currently more than 7,000 cases nationwide. Globally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports there have been more than 27,500 cases of the virus in countries where it is not normally found.