Dr. Anthony Fauci says that monkeypox is a threat to several groups of people, including pregnant women and children. The virus has already infected 19,000 people worldwide according to Newsweek, and scientists are still investigating how it spreads. Experts now state that monkeypox transmission is not limited to sexual contact between men, nor does it spread solely through sexual contact.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, monkeypox spreads through direct contact with the infectious rash it causes, as well as through prolonged face-to-face contact, contact with contaminated objects, and contact with infected animals. Pregnant women can also spread the virus to their fetus.
"We've got to understand the modality of the transmission, the manifestations, also the risk for people like children and pregnant women," said Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "There's really a profound risk. Right now, thank goodness, we have a report of only two cases in children, but they're all risk populations."
Fauci made it clear that we should fight the virus and not "stigmatize the people who are infected with the virus." He stated this can be done by making testing and treatment available to all communities.
According to NPR, there are now nearly 3,500 confirmed cases of monkeypox in the U.S. and those numbers are growing. The good news is, unlike COVID-19, 99% of infected people are expected to survive.
The U.S. government is continuing to roll out monkeypox vaccines around the country, says Newsweek, especially to states where the virus is prevalent. The Biden administration is expected to declare monkeypox a public health emergency in the near future, says Politico. This would follow a similar decision made last weekend by the World Health Organization.
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