(WTAJ) — Pennsylvania went from 27 confirmed cases of monkeypox to 251 in just under a month, putting the commonwealth at number seven for the virus in the United States, according to data from the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
The first US case was confirmed back in May in Massachusetts by someone returning from Canada. Since then, the US has confirmed 9,492 cases as of Aug. 9, a drastic increase from 866 cases on July 11.
There is now only one state that has remained monkeypox free so far — Wyoming.
In July, Pennsylvania had only 27 cases, but it was still number eight in the US for monkeypox. Increasing to 251 cases in under a month, Pennsylvania has slid up to number seven out of the 50 states and D.C. New York is currently the highest with 2,104 total cases.
As the federal government is working to stretch the limited supply of monkeypox vaccines as more is developed, Pennsylvania has received a supply for those considered high-risk who have been directly exposed to the virus.
According to the World Health Organization, they don’t believe monkeypox will turn into a pandemic but admit there are many unknowns at the current time.
Currently, the only recorded monkeypox-related deaths have been in Africa where access to the vaccine is almost non-existent.
Monkeypox has sickened people for decades in central and west Africa, but until May, the disease had not been known to cause significant outbreaks in multiple countries at the same time and involving people with no travel links to the continent.
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Transmission of the monkeypox virus is different than what we became familiar with due to COVID-19. Instead of close contact within six feet and spreading through respiratory droplets, monkeypox needs much longer and more intimate contact with an infected person or their clothing.