NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — There are more than 500 monkeypox cases in the United States as of Tuesday and with the first case being identified in Connecticut, doctors say the public should not be too concerned about catching the virus.
Unlike COVID, monkeypox does not spread efficiently through aerosols. It spreads by direct skin-to-skin contact for a prolonged period of time.
“It does require prolonged contact either with skin of an infected individual or things that have touched, been on the skin of an infected individual. Like sharing clothing, sharing bed sheets, probably not just a touch,” said Dr. F. Perry Wilson with the Yale School of Medicine.
Monkeypox symptoms can include a fever, swollen glands, and a rash that looks like little blisters or pimples. Wilson said social distancing can protect you from someone who is infected.
Anyone with symptoms is asked to call their local health provider. Doctors can request testing for patients at the state public health laboratory.
“I don’t think you need to be overly concerned but I would keep your alert attitude about this and just be listening to what we see emerging here in the state of Connecticut in the days and weeks proceeding,” said Dr. Manisha Juthani, Connecticut Department of Public Health Commissioner.
There is a vaccine that works in infected adults. Currently, there are not enough doses for mass vaccination.
Wilson said in the initial allocation of the monkeypox vaccine, the federal government skipped over Connecticut because there were not any cases. He hopes the state will receive doses now that the first case has been identified.
“Like with COVID, if there’s one case in Connecticut, there’s probably 10 cases in Connecticut. We tend to kind of see these things as they’re ramping up. So I don’t want to give the impression that there’s only one case out there,” Wilson said.