May 20, 2022 - Health

CDC: Doctors should be on alert for monkeypox symptoms

Photo: Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday that doctors and state health departments in the U.S. should be on the lookout for possible cases of monkeypox.

Driving the news: The Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the CDC are currently investigating a confirmed case of monkeypox, which has been spreading throughout several European nations in recent days.

Details: The CDC said in its alert that clinicians "should be vigilant to the characteristic rash associated with monkeypox."

  • Doctors should suspect monkeypox if patients have a rash after they've traveled to countries with confirmed cases, or if a patient has reported having contact with someone who has been to one of those countries, the CDC said.
  • The CDC added that doctors should also be suspicious of monkeypox if the patient "is a man who regularly has close or intimate in-person contact with other men, including those met through an online website, digital application ('app'), or at a bar or party."

The big picture: Monkeypox cases have popped up in Belgium, Italy, London and northern Ireland, Portugal and Spain, as well as Australia and Canada.

  • Confirmed or suspected cases have reached more than 100 in Europe, per Reuters.
  • "This is the largest and most widespread outbreak of monkeypox ever seen in Europe," said Germany's armed forces' medical service, Reuters reported.
Confirmed new monkeypox cases outside of Africa
Note: Monkeypox is more common and locally transmitted in west and central Africa; Map: Axios Visuals

What's next: WHO regional director for Europe Hans Kluge warned Friday that monkeypox cases could spread in the forthcoming summer due to mass gatherings, festivals and parties.

Be smart: Fabian Leendertz, from the Robert Koch Institute, told Reuters that the current outbreak "is very unlikely that this epidemic will last long. The cases can be well isolated via contact tracing and there are also drugs and effective vaccines that can be used if necessary."

Go deeper: What we know about the new monkeypox outbreak

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