DENVER (KDVR) — Early data suggests monkeypox is unlikely to become a pandemic of COVID proportions.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is investigating the case of a Colorado man with monkey pox. The test results are sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for confirmation.
The CDPHE said the man recently traveled to Canada where an outbreak has occurred and the department is contacting those he was in contact with about possible exposure. No other suspected positive cases have been reported.
The Colorado case is one of only ten identified in the United States. Others have been found in California, Florida, Massachusetts, New York, Utah, Virginia, and Washington.
Monkeypox is not a very deadly disease. The World Health Organization estimates a fatality rate between 3% and 6%, meaning between 3% and 6% of cases are fatal.
This makes monkeypox more deadly than COVID, with an estimated death rate of 1.2%. Smallpox, on the other hand, has a 30% mortality rate if left untreated.
While data shows monkeypox is more deadly, it is less transmissible than COVID and other infectious diseases. Researchers say the virus needs close contact to spread, rather than airborne illnesses like COVID.
Epidemiologists use a “repeatability” formula to estimate how many people will become infected from a single case of a particular disease.
Monkeypox has an estimated repeatability value of two, meaning that one person will lead to two more infections in a totally unprepared environment.
Someone with the ommicron strain of the COVID virus would infect an additional 9.5 people.
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