US confirms 9 cases of monkey pox in 7 states

WASHINGTON: The United States said Thursday it had identified nine cases of monkeypox in seven states, some in individuals who had no recent history of international travel.
On Wednesday, the nine cases were confirmed in Massachusetts, Florida, Utah, Washington, California, Virginia and New York, the US Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) told reporters.
Most infections discovered worldwide to date have been minor. Many, but not all, have been reported in men having sex with men. Symptoms include a fever and a characteristic bumpy rash.
All US affairs “involve gay, bisexual men and other men who have sex with men,” CDC director Rochelle Walensky said in a news conference. Walensky insisted on an approach “led by science, not stigma.”
More than 20 countries where monkeypox is not endemic have reported outbreaks of the viral disease, with about 200 confirmed and more than 100 suspected cases of infection, mainly in Europe. The World Health Organization urged countries to increase surveillance of monkeypox.
The first case of monkey pox in the United States was reported in Massachusetts last week.
Some of the nine cases identified Wednesday have a recent history of international travel to areas with active monkeypox outbreaks, but “others do not,” the CDC director said Thursday.
The disease, which is mainly found in West and Central Africa, is a viral infection that was first identified in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the 1970s.
“We shouldn’t be surprised to see more cases reported in the US in the coming days,” Raj Panjabi, the White House senior director for health security and biodefense, said in the news conference.

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