The World Health Organization said June 25 that monkeypox wasn’t yet a public health emergency of international concern. More than 4,500 cases have been reported worldwide, with more than 300 in the U.S. And with public health officials unable to follow all chains of transmission, they’re likely undercounting cases. Everyone should be aware of its symptoms, how it spreads, and the risks of it getting worse.
Q: Should I be worried about monkeypox?
The American public is currently at low risk for monkeypox. It is spreading among men who have sex with men, but it is only a matter of time before it spreads to others. As of June 27, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control had reported 10 cases among women. Monkeypox is generally a mild disease but can be serious or even deadly for people who are immunocompromised, pregnant women, a fetus or newborn, women who are breastfeeding, young children, and people with severe skin diseases such as eczema.
But monkeypox could become endemic in the U.S. and around the world if it continues to spread unchecked.