BALTIMORE (WJZ) — With more than 250 cases of monkeypox confirmed around the world in the past two weeks, including ten cases in the United States, the virus is a concern.
According to the CDC, no deaths have been reported from monkeypox in the country, but do predict the number of cases could go up.READ MORE: Maryland Weather: Storm Threat Triggers Alert Day
WJZ sat down with Dr. Amesh Adalja, Senior Scholar with Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, to find out what you need to know about monkeypox.
Q: What is monkeypox?
A: Dr. Adalja: Monkeypox is a viral disease that’s been known to science since the 1950s not usually seen outside of Africa.
Q: What are the symptoms?
A: The symptoms of monkeypox start out with fever flu-like symptoms and then a characteristic rash. In this outbreak, we’re particularly seeing rashes or skin lesions in the genital area.
Q: How do you best avoid getting monkeypox?
A: It’s spreading from close person to person contact. Specifically, in sexual networks of men who have sex with men so it’s very important that you practice safe sex and that you’re aware that this is circulating in that network.
Q: Is this something people should be fearful of?
A: Monkeypox is not a very contagious disease and we should expect to see more cases in different parts of the United States because it is spreading among social networks but it’s not spreading through casual contact. It’s something that requires close prolonged contact so this isn’t something that should alarm the general public.
A leading World Health Organization adviser said last week the virus might be explained by risky sexual behavior at two recent mass events in Europe.MORE NEWS: Sinkhole Closes Part Of Baltimore's North Avenue Until Further Notice
The WHO said Monday it does not believe the monkeypox outbreak will turn into a global pandemic.