Medical expert talks about how monkeypox can affect you

Published: Jul. 28, 2022 at 7:44 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Monkeypox was recently declared a global health emergency, but what does that mean for you?

Dr. Shane Speights, Medical Director and Dean for the NYITCOM at Arkansas State University, said there’s a lot to know about the virus.

There are currently up to 6,000 cases of monkeypox in the United States, with four cases currently in Arkansas.

Dr. Speights said how monkeypox is transmitted is what makes it different than previous viruses we have seen.

“Physical touching. Physically touching one person to another, one person that’s infected to another person, that’s how it spreads,” he said.

If contracted, most people feel some fatigue and maybe a fever, but Dr. Speights said those are not the first things you’ll notice.

“Primary it’s the rash, the rash you’ll see with monkeypox,” he said. “It’s the same family of smallpox. You’ll see these small pustular legions. They will crust over in the early stages. Those can also be infectious.”

Although cases have risen since the first confirmed case in May, Dr. Speights said there is no reason to push the panic button just yet.

“This is something we are watching,” he said. “Cases in Arkansas probably will increase when school starts back, but this is not something for the average Arkansan to be too worried about.”

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