Monkeypox cases in the U.S. may have gone undetected for some time health official says

Edited by Ed Newman
2022-06-05 14:38:57


Analysis suggests there are two distinct strains in US, raising possibility of ‘under the radar’ previous infections.

Atlanta, June 5 (RHC)-- Genetic analysis has suggested that there are two distinct strains of monkeypox in the United States, public health officials said, raising the possibility that cases may have previously gone “under the radar.”

Jennifer McQuiston, an official at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), told reporters that more research needs to be conducted to determine how long the virus has been circulating in the United States.  She said:
“I think it’s certainly possible that there could have been Monkeypox cases in the United States that went under the radar previously, but not to any great degree."

Still, she added, “there could be community-level transmission that is happening” in parts of the U.S. where the virus has not yet been identified.  And the CDC said it is likely more cases will be reported.

Dr Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada, said the findings suggest that the virus will be harder to contain.  “We don’t really have a good sense of how many cases there are out there,” Rasmussen told The Associated Press news agency.

Monkeypox, which does not usually spread easily among people, is endemic in parts of Africa, where it has been transmitted through bites from small animals.  Last month, Europe and the United States started detecting cases of the virus. Health officials in many countries are investigating monkeypox transmission.

The latest report says that U.S. health authorities had identified at least 21 cases in 11 states.  Monkeypox symptoms can include swelling of the lymph nodes, followed by skin rashes.


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