As of Wednesday, nine instances of monkeypox have been confirmed in seven states, with additional cases likely as a worldwide outbreak continues, according to US health officials.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nine cases of the disease, which does not occur naturally in the United States, have been detected in Massachusetts, Florida, Utah, Washington, California, Virginia, and New York.

While the Virginia case involves a woman, the majority of instances “are inside gay [and] bisexual guys and other men who have sex with men,” according to CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky on Thursday.

According to CNN, her approach to the matter must be “driven by research, not stigma.”

“While some groups may be more vulnerable right now, infectious diseases do not respect state or international borders.” “They aren’t contained within social networks, and the risk of exposure isn’t limited to any one group,” Walensky stated.

“We shouldn’t be surprised if there are more examples,” she said.

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The CDC is investigating how each of the nine people became infected with the virus. According to CNN, Walensky, some have a recent history of overseas travel to areas with active monkeypox outbreaks, while others do not.

The disease is not thought to be easily transferred, and most individuals get it from an infected animal. When human-to-human transmission occurs, it is typically through close physical contact, such as skin contact or inhalation of large respiratory droplets.

The CDC has advised clinicians and the general public to be on the lookout for monkeypox symptoms, which include fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, lesions or pustules, and a rash on the body, including the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.

“We shouldn’t be shocked if more instances are reported in the United States in the coming days.” According to CNN, “it’s actually a sign that Americans are being cautious, and health care providers and public health officials are doing their jobs.”

According to Walensky, vaccines for monkeypox are available and will be distributed as needed.

“One of these vaccinations, Jynneos, is licenced for the prevention of monkeypox disease in adults 18 and older,” Walensky explained. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has procedures in place to distribute these items around the country so that they can be used for prevention or treatment for those who may benefit, wherever they may be.”

“The United States has the resources we need to respond to monkeypox in this country right now.” “For decades, we’ve been prepared for this type of pandemic,” she explained.

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