Medial experts with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are looking into another global virus. A virus normally found in West Africa is showing up in the United States.
On Monday, the CDC held a telebriefing about suspected cases of monkeypox virus in the United States. Right now, there are no reported cases in Virginia.
“It’s likely that there are going to be additional cases reported in the United States," said Deputy Director of the Division of High Consequence Pathogens and Pathology Dr. Jennifer McQuiston.
The telebriefing provided news media and the public with more information about the potential of a monkeypox outbreak.
“But what’s different about what we’ve been seeing around the world in the past two weeks is that most cases do not have recent travel to Nigeria or to another country where monkeypox would normally be found," said Dr. McQuiston.
Officials said four states have confirmed cases of suspected monkeypox: Massachusetts, New York, Florida and Utah. No cases are in Virginia.
Medical experts said the virus causes flu-like symptoms and many people develop rashes and in recent cases, in sensitive areas of the body.
“During the early stages of illness, the rash has been mostly in the genital and perianal areas," said Dr. John Brook an epidemiologist for the division of HIV and AIDS Prevention.
Brooks said many of the suspected cases involve people who are part of the LGBTQ community.
“Many of those infected in the current global outbreak identify as gay and bisexual men," said Dr. Brooks.
The CDC wants the public to know the spread is most likely happening.
“And the respiratory spread is not the predominant worry. It is contact and intimate contact in the current outbreak setting and populations," said Dr. McQuiston.
The CDC has also made requests to release the smallpox/monkeypox vaccine for some of the patients.
"I can report that there has been a request for a release of the Jynneos vaccine from the national stockpile for some of the high-risk contacts of some of the early patients," said Dr. McQuiston.
CDC officials said this is not the first time there was a monkeypox outbreak in the United States. The previous outbreak happened in 2003.