Doctor Janice Johnston, the chief medical director with Redirect Health, says monkeypox is a rare disease discovered in 1958, thought to be related to international travel. She says the virus itself is a milder version of smallpox and can be deadly.
"Definitely this is something to be watched and to be concerned about,” says Doctor Johnston. “It's too soon right now to know if this is something that's going to become significant in our country and across the world at this point.”
"I think for people to understand what it is and what the signs and symptoms and how, how it how it gets transmitted,” Doctor Johnston says.
Doctor Johnston says the virus can be transmitted from person to person or through clothing.
"It's due to close contact. So within a few feet and prolonged contact to respiratory droplets,” says Johnston.
What if there is an outbreak of transmission? She says if you have access to care by taking medications, she doesn’t anticipate a significant risk to patients who are infected.
"If there were to be the chance that there is a significant transmission, then there is a vaccine that is available,” says Johnston.
As for symptoms and signs of monkeypox, Johnston says, "Know who you're going to be around and maybe where they've been, is anyone having any symptoms, any new rashes, fevers, aches, pains, those kinds of things.”
Johnston encourages hand washing as her recommendation.