The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has increased the monkeypox travel alert to level 2 amid a global outbreak of the rare disease.
As of Sunday (June 5), there have been over 900 confirmed cases of monkeypox in dozens of countries around the world. In addition, there have been 25 confirmed cases in the United States.
Of the 12 states that have confirmed cases of monkeypox, New York and California reported the most, with five each. The other states include Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia, and Washington. A case has also been confirmed in Washington, D.C.
“#Monkeypox has been reported in over 20 countries that don’t normally report monkeypox, including the U.S. If you are concerned about a new or unexplained rash, see your healthcare provider and ask about monkeypox,” the CDC wrote on Twitter.
Initial symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches, and swollen lymph nodes. Several days later, a rash and painful lesions will form on various parts of the body.
While most people will recover within a month, the CDC said that it can be fatal in rare cases.
The outbreak has concerned health experts because it has spread far beyond several West African countries. While previous outbreaks have been linked directly to travel to areas where the disease can spread to humans, many of the recent cases are not linked to those countries.