KANSAS CITY, Mo. — With monkeypox cases slowly popping up, doctors with University Health say the risk is still low and it’s not as transmissible as COVID-19.
“It’s absolutely not,” PharmD Infectious disease specialist for Pharmacy at UH Dr. Sayo Weihs said. “Monkeypox, it does have airborne, like if someone coughs on you, you can get it. However, it’s something that unlike COVID, it needs prolonged exposure.”
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of Friday, there are only 112 confirmed cases of the virus in the United States and over 2,500 globally.
Earlier this week, the director of the CDC highlighted the importance of government funding to keep research going as outbreaks of diseases continue to emerge.
“Just this past month, we’ve seen outbreaks of monkeypox and non endemic countries, including here in the United States,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky said. “CDC swift action has supported testing and case identification. However, as threats like monkeypox emerge, we run the risk of again being constrained by incomplete data from our fragmented public health data reporting system.”
Earlier this month, the Biden Administration distributed 1,200 doses of vaccine for people who have had risk exposures to the virus.
“There is a post exposure vaccination, it is actually not for monkeypox, it’s actually for smallpox. Monkeypox is a relative to smallpox,” Weihs said. “They could recommend a post exposure vaccine which could reduce the person getting the disease itself or if they get it, lower the severity.”