CDC releases new details about how monkeypox virus spreads, what to keep in mind

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Saturday, June 11, 2022
CDC releases new details about how monkeypox virus spreads
The CDC announced on Friday that monkeypox is not thought to be airborne but transmitted through skin-to-skin contact.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed there are 45 monkeypox cases in the country, but even though this virus is spreading no one has died from this outbreak.

On Friday, the CDC officials dismissed the idea that monkeypox can be spread through the air.

"Monkeypox is not thought to linger in the air and it's not typically transmitted during short periods of shared air space. The virus is not thought to spread by having a casual conversation. At the grocery store or touching the same item like a door knob," said CDC officials during Friday's press conference.

California's Department of Public Health confirmed eight cases of Monkeypox. At least five of those are in the Bay Area.

RELATED: 3 additional 'probable' cases of monkeypox identified in SF, health officials say

"My biggest concern is that we have four cases in San Francisco, one putative in Alameda County," said Dr. Monica Gandhi, Infectious Diseases specialist at UCSF.

Dr. Gandhi said the cases have been mild and close contact is a consistent pattern for transmission.

"Skin to skin. The close respiratory contact that occurs during sex. People just need to be alert for these particular lesions, the fever, big lymph nodes so that we can treat it," said Dr. Gandhi.

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Dr. Gandhi said the majority of cases are happening among men who have sex with men.

"Of these 1,461 cases worldwide there is an ongoing Lancet review of all these cases. Actually out of the first 1,300 the majority all but three were in men who have sex with men. So that is important. Not for any stigma, not to say that this is in a particular community but to alert that community," said Dr. Gandhi.

Ahead of the Pride parade, SF Pride Board president partnered with SFDPH. Their plan is to have a series of PSA's during the event informing the public about monkeypox.

RELATED: US in process of releasing monkeypox vaccine from national stockpile for 'high-risk' people: CDC

"How you can protect yourself, how we can protect ourselves as a large community and etc. We just want to make sure that much like with COVID in the early time of that pandemic. That disease that we were on the frontlines of educating our community," said Carolyn Wysinger, SF Pride's Board of Directors.

Health officials say the risk of monkeypox spreading to the general population is low.

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