Monkeypox is a low-risk threat to the general American public and is not comparable to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a senior U.S. health official in Phoenix on Tuesday.
Dr. Rachel Levine, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Health, said the monkey is “not another COVID-19” and that the risk to the general public is low.
Levine made his remarks after a private hearing at Phoenix Indian Medical Center with health care workers, along with U.S. surgeon general Vivek Murthy.
“This is not a coronavirus. The virus is completely different. It spreads through close personal contact, so it spreads in a completely different way,” Levin said. “The CDC, however, is closely monitoring the situation, both in the United States and internationally…. The cases so far have not been serious.”
In early May, the World Health Organization confirmed a case of a monkey on a British passenger returning from Nigeria because the disease was endemic.
As of Tuesday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed a case of a monkey infection in the U.S. in an adult male in Massachusetts when he recently traveled to Canada.
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U.S. Surgeon General: The CDC is following the monkey “very, very closely.”
Murthy said the CDC is working closely with doctors, nurses and states to ensure that it is closely monitored to ensure that more cases are reported.
“Right now, the number of cases and suspected cases is quite small and quite limited,” he said. “If you look at the last time the U.S. faced a significant monkey outbreak, then all the people who contracted the virus were fully revived.”
The U.S. also has a supply of vaccines that the CDC believes will be effective against the monkey, which is reassuring, he said.
“People need to know that the issue that the CDC is following very closely is in cooperation with local and state authorities,” he said. “The monkey is a virus with flu-like symptoms and a rash can also appear, which can sometimes last a couple of weeks.”
The appearance of the monkey in the United States was in 2003, when the CDC confirmed 47 reported and suspected cases after some people came in contact with infected prairie dogs near a consignment of small mammals from Ghana.
Monkeypox does not occur naturally in the United States, but there have been cases of international travel or the importation of animals from areas where the disease is more common, according to the CDC.
The CDC urges U.S. health care providers to be vigilant with patients with rash-related diseases related to the monkey, whether they have travel or specific risk factors for the monkey, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.
Health workers are feeling harassment and harassment at work on counseling days
Murthy and Levine held a private hearing with health care workers in Phoenix on Tuesday and the general surgeon discussed national advice on health care burners.
Dr. Loretta Christensen, medical director of the Indian Health Service, and Dr. Claire Nechiporenko, a pediatrician and director of outpatient services at Phoenix Indian Medical Center, were present.
The National Counsel said that among the 26,174 state, tribal, local and territorial public health workers surveyed in March and April 2021, nearly 23.4% reported feeling “harassed, threatened or harassed at work”.
Murthy said he visits health care workers across the country to learn and talk about how to build a broader movement to address the burnout of health care workers. Even before the pandemic, he said health workers felt burnt.
“Healthcare workers coped with the surge of COVID-19 patients, who also suffered verbal and physical attacks,” he said. “Of course, they had to deal with the onslaught of misinformation, which was one of the biggest plagues in this pandemic.”
Some of the common words Murthy hears from health care workers during a hearing are broken, traumatized, burned, and tired. Non-governmental sectors also need to address the issue, he said.
“We need private insurance companies, healthcare systems, educational institutions and society as a whole to take the step to ultimately take care of our healthcare workers,” he said.
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