WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Over the weekend, the World Health Organization declared monkeypox as a public health emergency and asked for a worldwide effort to contain the outbreak.
“It can start like a little red spot,” CDC HIV Prevention Director Demetre Daskalakis said while describing monkeypox.
“It can become a pimple then it becomes a bigger pimple, and then eventually the pimple breaks. It becomes a scab and then it’s covered over with skin,” Daskalakis said.
The disease is spread by close contact, and at this point, mostly affects men who have sex with men. But it is not just a sexually transmitted disease, as anyone in close contact with someone who’s infected is at risk. The World Health Organization says the monkeypox outbreak has become a significant threat to global health.
“So it’s really important for general information to go out about how monkeypox transmits and what the disease looks like,” Daskalakis said.
According to the CDC, more than 3,400 cases are confirmed in the U.S. Those who contract monkeypox will experience a fever, severe muscle aches, exhaustion, and will eventually develop the rash. The White House says it is doing its part to address the health crisis both at home and abroad.
“First, is to dramatically scale up procurement, production and distribution of vaccines. Second, is to significantly expand access to testing” White House COVID Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha said.
The CDC encourages Americans at risk and those in close contact with them, to get the monkeypox vaccine, once the FDA approves additional doses and it becomes more available.