Officials in Broward County, Florida, are investigating a presumptive case of monkeypox, the first in the state amid unusual clusters of the virus outside of Africa.
County officials said the case is related to international travel. The patient has been isolated and officials are notifying possible contacts, according to Local10 News.
The Florida patient joins confirmed cases in New York City and Massachusetts.
Monkeypox is related to smallpox but results in a milder disease.
Patients are popping up on multiple continents, which is unusual because cases are usually contained in West and Central Africa.
Since 2017, Nigeria had been the epicenter of outbreaks, with more than 500 suspected cases and over 200 confirmed cases. Roughly 3% of cases resulted in death.
The disease typically produces a high fever, swollen lymph nodes and a telltale rash that can spread all over the body.
A researcher at the University of Oxford posted a spreadsheet listing nearly 200 confirmed or suspected cases around the globe, including Europe and Australia.
The virus is spread through close personal contact, so scientists expect it to be contained better than a disease like COVID-19.
However, President Biden said the situation shouldn’t be taken lightly.
“It is a concern in that, if it were to spread, it would be consequential,” Mr. Biden said Sunday.
There are antiviral drugs for monkeypox and the smallpox vaccine, which hasn’t been widely administered since the disease was eradicated decades ago, can be given to possible contacts of infected persons.