PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The CDC has now confirmed a case of monkey disease in Philadelphia – first detected in Pennsylvania. In the United States, smallpox has doubled in a week to 21.
At the same time, the CDC is stepping up efforts to curb the spread of the virus through emergency response.
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Dana Perella, director of the Acute Infectious Diseases Program at the Department of Health, said, “Given how closely our world is connected, no one is isolated.”
Monkey pox is transmitted through prolonged close contact.
With several large crowds expected at events in Philadelphia this weekend, health officials say people need to know what to look out for.
Smallpox, the virus that infects infected people, may be more prevalent than previously thought, but CDC officials say the overall risk remains low.
“Currently, the cases reported in the United States are mostly gay, bisexual, or other men who have sex with men,” the doctor said. Jennifer McQueenston with the CDC.
Doctors say that anyone can get smallpox in monkeys. It is not sexually transmitted, but is mainly spread through close contact or large respiratory droplets.
“It’s important to understand that this is not a gay infection,” said Dr. Mark Watkins said.
The Mazzoni Center said the organization wants to raise awareness and is announcing a council about upcoming upcoming holidays.
“You can’t just connect him by accident, walk down the street, and swim with someone in the crowd,” Watkins said.
At a concert, you’re sitting next to someone, maybe dancing next to someone for an hour or two. Is this a potential threat?
“So some people say yes, you shouldn’t have that close physical contact with someone you don’t know,” Watkins said.
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Another much-anticipated event in Philadelphia this weekend is the Roots Picnic and Concert.
“I don’t think it’s something we’re going to panic about, it’s not going to spread like COVID. For example, you know, it’s not as easy to catch as COVID. You know, I don’t think this is the next pandemic, but it’s fun and unusual. I think we need to look into what is really going on, ”said Dr. ChristianaCare, chief infection prevention specialist. Marcy Dries said.
Dries spreads the virus through close contact, including through skin or respiratory symptoms, and is diagnosed a few days later with rash.
Other symptoms include fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, back pain, swollen lymph nodes, fatigue, and rash that occurs one to three days after exposure.
“Dizziness can occur in any part of the body. The face and tip are usually more common than the central part of the body. The distinguishing feature of this epidemic is that sometimes it is divided into genital areas, “said Dries.
Dries also says that if you develop rashes, it is important to see a doctor and have them covered and isolated immediately.
“It can also be spread through materials, so if you catch a person with smallpox with a mattress or towel, you can catch them that way,” Dries said.
Monkeys were accidentally brought to the United States in 2003 – from rodents imported from Africa to desert dogs.
It has historically spread from animals to humans, but officials have not been able to detect the epidemic, which was detected in a British patient last month.
“It’s spreading in a different way than before,” Dries said.
Smallpox is similar to smallpox virus and the smallpox vaccine can be used to treat high-risk patients with smallpox.
Officials say the best way to stay safe is to keep social distance, wear a mask, and wash your hands properly.
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CBS3’s Alicia Roberts, Ross Dimattay and Stephanie Stahl contributed to this report.