Monkeypox is mostly transmitted when someone comes into contact with an animal, another human or materials contaminated with the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The virus can enter the body through broken skin, respiratory tract, eyes, nose or mouth.
The CDC said this most recent outbreak of monkeypox began over the past two weeks in countries that do not normally report monkeypox, such as Portugal, the United Kingdom and Spain.
In the United States, a Massachussetts man was infected with monkeypox, and officials also have reported a possible case in New York.
Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), told CNBC rising monkeypox cases suggest it’s spread “pretty wide,” but is unlikely to become a major epidemic “because this is a virus that’s difficult to spread.”
The symptoms of monkeypox are like a milder version of smallpox, except monkeypox causes swollen lymph nodes while smallpox does not.
According to the CDC, monkeypox starts out with the following symptoms:
- Muscle aches
- Swollen lymph nodes
One to three days within the onset of symptoms, patients then begin to develop a rash on the face before spreading elsewhere on the body.
If you develop symptoms in line with monkeypox or were exposed to someone with the disease, contact your doctor.
The illness usually lasts for two to four weeks before it runs its course through the body. However, in some areas of the world, like Africa, the disease can be fatal.
The CDC states that 1 in 10 people in Africa who catch monkeypox die from it.
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