An outbreak of monkeypox has some people worried that the world is on the brink of another pandemic. That’s not likely, experts say.
The concern has been fueled by alat penyulingan minyak atsiri sederhana more than 300 confirmed or suspected cases of the disease cropping up in 21 countries outside Africa, where the disease is endemic, since May 7. It’s the most widespread outbreak of the disease, which causes flulike symptoms, such as fever, headaches and body aches, as well as profound weakness, back pain, swollen lymph nodes and rashes that erupt into pus-filled blisters. And more cases are being added daily to a database maintained by Global.health, a group that tracks infectious diseases.
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Spain, Portugal, Canada and England have recorded most of the cases. In the United States, one person each in Massachusetts, California and New York City and two in Utah have been confirmed to have monkeypox, and four others are confirmed to have Orthopoxvirus infections, the genus that includes monkeypox and smallpox. Those cases — one in New York City and Washington state and two in Florida — are presumed to be monkeypox and are undergoing confirmation at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Monkeypox spreads through close contact. “Anyone — anyone — can develop and spread monkeypox infection,” John Brooks, a medical epidemiologist at the CDC said May 23 during a news briefing. But “many of those affected in the current global outbreak identify as gay or bisexual men.”
Some of those cases have been linked to a Pride celebration and a sauna in Spain, and a fetish festival in Belgium. CDC officials hope to raise awareness of the sometimes-deadly disease ahead of June, Pride month in the United States and many other countries, Brooks said.
Right now, men who have sex with men may be at greater risk of contracting the virus, but “infectious diseases don’t care about borders or social networks,” Brooks said. Most people are at low risk of catching monkeypox, but should still be aware that it is circulating in the community, he said.