3rd possible monkeypox case reported in US: 4 expert takes

Florida health officials on May 22 said they are investigating a potential monkeypox case, which could make it the third in the nation, ABC News reported May 22.

Massachusetts officials reported the first case in the nation May 18 while officials in New York said they were investigating a potential case May 20.

Here is how the Biden administration and two experts have responded to the reported cases: 

Editor's note: Responses were lightly edited for length and clarity. 

Michael Head. Senior Research Fellow in Global Health at the University of Southampton: "There's a lot of community transmission, so that's concerning. It is a particularly nasty virus, but I think I would stress at this point it's not COVID — infectious diseases do behave very differently," Dr. Head told Sky News. "The outbreak, it's important we get it under control, but we are not likely to see anything on the scale of what we've seen with COVID-19 these last two years." 

Ashish Jha, MD. White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator: "I feel like this is a virus we understand; we have vaccines against it, we have treatments against it and it's spread very differently than SARS-CoV-2," Dr. Jha told ABC News. "It's not as contagious as Covid. So I am confident we're going to be able to keep our arms around it. But we'll track it very closely and use the tools we have to make sure we can continue to prevent further spread and take care of the people who get infected."

Grant McFadden, PhD. Director of the Biodesign Center for Immunotherapy, Vaccines and Virotherapy at Arizona State University: "It kind of looks like the virus always had this potential capacity" for human-to-human transmission, Dr. McFadden told NBC News. "It just never had the opportunity in the past — or if it did, it quickly petered out and we never really saw it as an event. Whereas now with people being able to travel all over the world, it's entirely possible we're actually seeing it for the first time in a larger context."

President Joe Biden: “It is a concern in that if it were to spread, it would be consequential," President Biden said while in South Korea. In another news conference, in regards to imposing quarantines for the virus, he said, "I just don’t think it rises to the level of the kind of concern that existed with COVID-19, and the smallpox vaccine works for it."

 

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