- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 26, 2022

Virginia is reporting its first case of monkeypox amid a sudden uptick in global infections.

The Old Dominion case is one of nine across the country, federal officials said Thursday. Cases have been recorded in Massachusetts, Florida, Utah, Washington, California and New York.

Virginia’s case is a woman who recently traveled to an African country where the disease is known to circulate.

That makes it somewhat different than the cases being reported across multiple continents in recent weeks, which have predominantly impacted gay men who did not travel to endemic areas.

The woman was not considered infectious while traveling, and she is isolating at home in northern Virginia. State lab tests will be confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Monkeypox is marked by fevers and a telltale rash. Cases are typically found in West and Central Africa and result in humans from contact with rodents, yet the virus can spread from human to human through close personal contact.

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A spreadsheet posted by a University of Oxford researcher documented 365 confirmed or suspected cases of monkeypox around the globe. The outbreak could be linked in part to sexual contact at events in Europe.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky on Thursday said the response to monkeypox must be “guided by science, not by stigma,” according to CNN.

“While some groups may have a greater chance of exposure right now, infectious diseases do not care about state or international borders,” she said. “They’re not contained within social networks and the risk of exposure is not limited to any one particular group.”

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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