After making its way across the globe, an extremely rare disease called monkeypox has recently spread to Massachusetts, New York and potentially Florida — though the CDC has yet to confirm the results of a test taken there. Now, some are concerned a new global pandemic may be on the horizon.
Public health officials are using contact tracing to find the source of the outbreak. They will be tracing contact with humans and animals to determine if a sick animal may have been the cause, according to Dr. Frank Esper, pediatric infectious disease specialist at the Cleveland Clinic (via Ideastream Public Media).
An outbreak in 2003 left about 80 people infected in the Midwest after coming in contact with sick prairie dogs. But people in Northeast Ohio likely have nothing to worry about, according to Dr. Amy Edwards, infectious disease specialist at University Hospitals.
“Monkeypox isn’t that easy to spread, compared to smallpox or chickenpox or some of the other pox viruses,” Dr. Edwards said.
“This is unlikely to become a global problem. I do not believe that this is the next global pandemic that we’ll be dealing with," Esper added.
“We’re working on it hard to figure out what we do and what vaccine, if any, might be available for it. It is a concern in that if it were to spread it would be consequential. That’s all they told me,” he said.
According to Esper, those who have received a smallpox vaccine should have some immunity from monkeypox. There is also a monkeypox vaccine, but not many people have it due to its rarity.