Infectious disease doctor weighs in on monkeypox concerns

ORLANDO, Fla. — The country is still fighting COVID-19, but right now, attention is turning toward another disease.

Florida, New York and Massachusetts are each reporting one presumptive monkeypox case.

Worldwide, Global.health claims there are more than 200 confirmed and suspected cases in at least 18 countries.


Dr. Jarod Fox, the chief of the infectious disease department at Orlando Health, doesn’t believe there’s any risk to the public at this time.

Fox said monkeypox starts off like the flu, with the classic fever, headache and muscle aches, and then develops from there.

“After a few days, after those symptoms start, you develop the rash,” Fox said.

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At this time, there has been one possible case reported in Miami and two confirmed cases in New York.

Dr. Kartik Cherabuddi, an epidemiologist with the University of Florida Health. agrees that there’s no reason to panic and said to remember this isn’t new to us like covid was.

“This is not a new disease,” Cherabuddi said. “We have a lot of experience with this around the world.”

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The first human transmission was in 1970 and monkeypox is in the same family as smallpox.

“The smallpox vaccine does work for the monkeypox,” Fox said.

Read: Monkeypox: What is it, how dangerous is it, should you be concerned?

On Monday, President Biden said that there’s plenty of smallpox vaccine stockpiled, should Americans need it.

Cherabuddi said to remember that not everyone who contracts monkeypox needs the vaccine. He said the majority of people will get better on their own.

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