CDC investigating first suspected case of monkeypox in Georgia

ATLANTA — The Georgia Department of Health has announced the first likely case of monkeypox in Georgia.

The GDPH said the suspected case is in a metro Atlanta man who has a history of international travel. The man has tested positive for the orthopoxvirus, which is associated with smallpox and monkeypox.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is conducting confirmatory testing to determine if the virus is monkeypox. In the meantime, the man is being monitored and officials are doing contact tracing.

The CDC is currently tracking 18 confirmed cases of the illness in the U.S. The other cases are in California, Utah, Massachusetts and Florida.

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Symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, back pain, muscle aches and low energy. 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.

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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.