WASHINGTON — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed nine monkeypox cases across seven states.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said that monkeypox cases have been identified in California, Florida, Massachusetts, New York, Utah, Virginia and Washington.
“We need to presume that there is some community spread, but there is active contact tracing that is happening right now to understand whether and how these cases might have been in contact with each other or with others in other countries,” Walensky said.
Two infected individuals live in the same household in Utah, according to People. The pair had traveled internationally in early May to “an area currently experiencing monkeypox cases.”
Last week, the first case was identified in the United States in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Department of Health said that a man who had recently traveled to Canada contracted the virus.
The disease was first seen in humans in 1970. Most infections last between two to four weeks, according to health officials. The disease can be fatal in 10% of people contracting the virus, the CDC said.
The U.S. government said on Tuesday that it is releasing some of the country’s monkeypox vaccines from the Strategic National Stockpile.
“I can report that there has been a request for release of the Jynneos vaccine from the National Stockpile for some of the high-risk contacts of some of the early patients, so that is actively happening right now,” Dr. Jennifer McQuinston said, according to CNN.
She said that the U.S. has a “good stock” of 1,000 doses since it has been preparing for a possible smallpox outbreak.
Jynneos is a two-dose vaccine that is licensed for use against smallpox and monkeypox, CNN reported.
Nearly 20 countries have reported outbreaks, according to Reuters, with more than 200 confirmed or suspected infections.
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