CDC activates emergency operations center to respond to monkeypox outbreak

ATLANTA — The Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has activated its emergency operations center in response to the growing monkeypox outbreak in the U.S.

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The action sets up the CDC’s command center for coordinating the emergency response to monkeypox and mobilizing additional CDC personnel and resources.

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Georgia has seen at least five cases of monkeypox, primarily in men from metro Atlanta who have recently traveled. The first suspected case in the state was reported the first week of June.

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According to the CDC, early data suggests that gay and bisexual men make up a high number of monkeypox cases.

The CDC is advising health care providers to consider testing any patient with a rash with clinical suspicion for monkeypox.

Symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, back pain, muscle aches and lethargy. It can also cause a rash and lesions on the face or genitals. The illness can be fatal in up to 11% of people who become infected.

There is no known treatment for the virus, but smallpox vaccines and antiviral treatments can be used to help control outbreaks.

Still, health officials say monkeypox is much less transmissible than the coronavirus and that the risk to the public is low. Many of the cases have been travel-associated and occurred in men.

The illness is endemic to Africa and has not previously triggered widespread outbreaks beyond the African continent.