Medical experts stress preparedness after first case of monkeypox appeared in King County
After the recent discovery of monkeypox in King County, one medical expert said the US is prepared in the event a large number of vaccines are needed.
First discovered in humans in 1970, the virus — primarily seen in West and Central Africa — can infect anyone and is linked through close physical and sexual contact, Nesheiwat said.
“Even in the United States, we’ve had outbreaks, more than we have now,” Nesheiwat said, mentioning the 2003 monkeypox breakout that infected 47 people who were in contact with infected prairie dogs.
“It’s considered the type of virus where you can catch it from sneezing, large water droplet particles get into your eyes, your nose, your throat, you can catch it that way.,” Nesheiwat said.
She noted that most of the cases are seen in men ages 20 to 50 and who identify as gay or bisexual, adding that “everyone should just, you know, practice good self-care, good hygiene, and safe sex.”
Those who contract the disease normally see recovery anytime within two to four weeks, according to Nesheiwat.
“It’s not considered an STD such as Syphilis, or Chlamydia or that sort of thing, and that’s according to the CDC,” Nesheiwat said.
“Now, can we have other data that comes out months from now that says otherwise? That’s a possibility.”
There are approximately 100 million vials of vaccine for smallpox available in the U.S., which are believed to be effective against monkeypox, as well as antivirals such as TPOXX.
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