Monkeypox Cases Reported Worldwide

Kate Stuzin, Managing Editor

The monkeypox virus — an illness related to smallpox rarely seen outside of West Africa — is causing increased concern among global health experts. According to the World Health Organization, 90 cases have appeared in 12 countries outside the African continent. 

As of today, the Center for Disease Control has confirmed two cases of monkeypox in the United States,  Boston and New York City. The Florida Department of Health in Broward County is conducting an epidemiological investigation of another presumptive positive case of monkeypox. The investigation will aid in preventing any additional exposures and developing post-exposure treatments. The singular case is related to international travel and the individual is in isolation. 

On Monday morning, President Joseph Biden released a statement saying the smallpox vaccine is effective on monkeypox and the U.S. has enough vaccines “to deal with the likelihood of a problem.”

Though the chance of contracting monkeypox in the U.S. is rare, individuals should still understand symptoms to look out for. According to the CDC, symptoms of monkeypox are milder than smallpox. 

Initial symptoms include:

  • Fever 
  • Headache
  • Aches and pains
  • Fatigue 
  • Swollen lymph nodes 

These symptoms eventually develop into a rash that progresses into raised blisters that spread across the body. The illness usually lasts between two and four weeks. The virus spreads through close contact with patients’ lesions and respiratory droplets or indirectly via contaminated items. 

If you become aware of any of the above symptoms on yourself or others, contact local health authorities immediately.