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Monkeypox Outbreak in the U.S.
Just as we are getting out of the COVID days and things look like they are mostly returning to some semblance of normal, there is another virus showing up in more places around the world. About 57 countries have reported cases of monkeypox. It was first reported in the US a few months ago and now the CDC is reporting nearly a thousand cases.
According to the literature, monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. It is mostly transmitted by sexual contact and transfer of bodily fluids in men who have sex with men. That makes it particularly important to the gay community.
The outbreak seems to be gaining steam as case counts keep rising and patients keep showing up in emergency rooms with a bad rash that turns into blisters or pimples.
Symptoms of monkeypox can include:
- Muscle aches and backache
- Swollen lymph nodes
- A rash that can look like pimples or blisters that appears on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, like the hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus.
There is a lot of interest in the progression of monkeypox and certainly fear and concern on the heels of COVID-19. However, monkeypox is not an airborne virus like COVID so it cannot spread the way COVID does.
Those affected groups, mostly men who have sex with other men, should be cautious and take necessary precautions. Just like with COVID or any other illness, if you have, or someone around you has symptoms of monkeypox, then be responsible and take needed safety precautions.
If you have symptoms or think you may have been in contact with someone with symptoms of monkeypox, speak to your primary care physician.