The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has verified that a Texas man caught the monkeypox disease in mid-July while traveling from Lagos, Nigeria, to Atlanta, Georgia. The CDC is keeping track of over 200 persons who came into touch with the man and has ordered them to quarantine for three weeks.

Monkeypox is a disease spread by animals, particularly monkeys, in the tropical forests of Central and West Africa. Fever, muscular pains, chills, and enlarged lymph nodes are common symptoms, which progress to a full-blown rash of pox-like blisters.

“If left untreated, there can be very severe effects from it, including fatality, although that is very rare,” Chad Neilsen, head of infection prevention and control at the University of Florida Health Jacksonville, said.

According to the CDC, the influenza strain that infected the Texas man had a mortality rate of around 10%.

Antiviral medicines, such as cidofovir, can be used to treat severe instances. Antivirals, on the other hand, are used off-label since they have not been thoroughly studied in humans with the monkeypox virus. In laboratory and animal studies, antivirals have proved to be effective against the monkeypox virus.

The coronavirus is far more infectious than the monkeypox virus thats thought to be predominantly bloodborne disease, which means it’s spread by body fluids. Humans contract it as a result of animal bites and scrapes, as well as touching animal droppings.

Monkeypox may spread by the inhalation of respiratory droplets like the coronavirus, but Nielsen believes this is improbable considering how slowly monkeypox spreads.

“The Texas case looks like it was an isolated case, where the person interacted with a potentially infected animal,” Nielsen added. “I would expect only one or two cases to spill over from that at most.”

In the United States, a previous monkeypox outbreak in 2003 affected 47 individuals. It was connected to animals like rats and prairie dogs being brought to pet stores, where people were likely infected by touching the animals’ shedding.

Monkeypox is a disease that is similar to smallpox first detected when an infection occurred in a colony of monkeys housed for study in 1958. In 1970, it was diagnosed in humans for the first time. It has only been reported six times outside of Africa since then.

The disease is transferred via inhaling infected person’s respiratory droplets or coming into touch with the virus’s lesions. You can potentially get the virus by coming into touch with bodily fluids or items such as an infected person’s bed linen.

According to the CDC, monkeypox begins with:

Fever
Headache
Muscle aches
Backache
Swollen lymph nodes
Chills
Exhaustion

Within one to three days after having a fever, the patient develops a rash, often beginning on the face then spreading to other parts of the body.

According to the CDC, “Currently, there is no proven, safe treatment for monkeypox virus infection. For controlling a potential outbreak, the smallpox vaccine is given.”