Monkeypox has now been found in 23 U.S. states in an outbreak that has seen over 3,300 confirmed cases worldwide across 42 countries, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Monkeypox, a virus usually seen in Central and West Africa, is currently spreading across non-endemic countries, including Europe and North America. It is a zoonotic virus originally transmitted from animals to humans, with symptoms similar but less clinically severe as those experienced by smallpox patients in the past.
While some earlier cases have been associated with gay and bisexual men—with many stemming from a single conference event—anyone of any sexuality can contract the disease, as it is transmitted from one person to another by physical contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets and contaminated materials. There is no currently conclusive evidence that monkeypox is classifiable as a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Symptoms may include fever, headaches, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and exhaustion, followed by a characteristic skin rash that can cause scarring.
The list of states where monkeypox has now been found include (There have been four reported cases in Washington D.C.):
Arizona was thought to have a single case of monkeypox, as of June 22. The patient is a man in his late 30s who is currently in isolation and recovering. Testing at the Arizona State Public Health Laboratory returned a presumptive positive result, which was confirmed by the CDC.
“ADHS [Arizona Department of Health Services] is working closely with local health departments throughout Arizona to identify and respond quickly to any potential cases,” said Don Herrington, ADHS interim director. “It’s important to note that monkeypox is highly controllable through simple precautions.”
California had reported 39 cases of monkeypox as of June 21.
“While it’s good to stay alert about any emerging public health outbreaks, the current risk of getting monkeypox in the general public is very low,” said the California Department for Public Health.
Colorado had five cases of monkeypox as of June 16. Scott Bookman, director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s (CDPHE) Division of Disease Control and Public Health Response, told Denver7: “I really do want to call out that this is a very different situation than the COVID-19 response that we have been talking about over the last two years. This virus is not nearly as transmissible. We are not seeing widespread transmission at this point.”
Sixteen cases of monkeypox have thus far been reported in Florida. Jarod Fox, the Orlando Health chief of infectious diseases, said: “The good thing is it’s not an extremely infectious organism, so a lot of people are going to be scared but I don’t want them to be.”
Georgia had three confirmed cases of monkeypox as of June 20. Department of Public Health spokeswoman Nancy Nydam said that the most recent case is an Atlanta man who recently traveled to Chicago for a convention, and that his case is unrelated to the previous two cases identified in the state.
There were five monkeypox cases in Hawaii as of June 17. The Hawaii Department of Health has said that all five were connected to one another.
Nineteen cases have been confirmed in Illinois as of June 16. The Chicago Department of Public Health said in a news release that seven of the city’s cases recently traveled to Europe, the first two cases appeared to be related to each other, while one Chicago resident was diagnosed with monkeypox after attending the International Mr. Leather conference.
The city of Gary reported Tuesday a case of monkeypox, marking the second for Indiana.
Mayor Jerome Prince announced the confirmation of a monkeypox case in the city.
“The risk of monkeypox among the general public continues to be extremely low,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box. “Monkeypox is rare and does not easily spread through brief casual contact. Please continue to take the same steps you do to protect against any infection, including washing your hands frequently and thoroughly, and check with a healthcare provider if you have any new signs or symptoms.”
There were three presumed cases of monkeypox in Maryland, as of June 21.
Maryland’s first presumed case was identified in the National Capital Region one week ago. Health officials said the three people are in isolation at home and are recovering.
As of June 16, Massachusetts had seven monkeypox cases confirmed. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health said the newest case is in an adult male with recent international travel.
On June 18, Missouri announced its first monkeypox case.
“This week, one of our excellent nurses suspected one of our patients may have monkeypox virus,” said Dr. Marvia Jones, director of the Kansas City Health Department. “We are considering this a probable case of monkeypox virus until we receive final confirmation from the CDC labs. We appreciate the work our disease investigation and nursing staff have done to educate themselves on this rare virus and be on alert for it.”
Nevada had one case of monkeypox recorded on June 15 in a Clark County resident who had recently traveled within the country.
New Jersey had a single reported case as of June 20. According to the New Jersey Department of Health, the individual is isolating at home, and the local health department is conducting contact tracing.
Twenty-eight people in New York City have tested positive for orthopoxvirus (the family of viruses that monkeypox belongs to), with 22 confirmed monkeypox cases. “All cases are likely monkeypox,” say NYC Health.
Ohio had a single monkeypox case as of June 13. “What I want to emphasize strongly is that monkeypox does not spread easily between people, and so the risk to Ohioans generally is very low,” Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, director of the Ohio Department of Health said in a statement.
Two cases of monkeypox have been identified in Oklahoma.
“We knew there was a possibility of more cases being identified in the state,” said Jolianne Stone, state epidemiologist, in a statement. “Our response team remains activated and continues to coordinate various areas within the agency to respond as necessary when a case arises.”
A single monkeypox case had been identified in Oregon as of June 16. The patient had traveled to a community with confirmed cases, and is now isolating.
A second case of monkeypox had been detected in Pennsylvania, as of June 15.
“The case involves a Philadelphia resident. Specimens have been sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for confirmation of monkeypox,” Mark O’Neill, a spokesman for the Department of Health said in a statement.
Rhode Island had one case as of June 9. The patient lives in Providence County, the Rhode Island Department of Health said in a statement.
As of June 20, Texas had three confirmed cases of monkeypox, with the two newest being detected this past weekend in Houston. Both new patients traveled out of the state recently.
Utah had two cases of monkeypox, as of the most recent update on May 23. Both infected individuals started experiencing symptoms after traveling internationally in May.
Virginia had one case of monkeypox as of June 17. On May 27, the CDC confirmed monkeypox in an adult female resident of the Northern region of Virginia who had recently traveled to an African country where the disease is known to occur, but was not infectious during travel.
Washington has one confirmed case, as of their most recent update on May 27.
Dr. Jeff Duchin, health officer for Public Health Seattle & King County said in a statement, “Although I think it’s unlikely that we will have a large outbreak locally, it is possible that there are additional cases in the community. Anyone with symptoms of monkeypox should consult a healthcare provider.”
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