CDC: 6 monkeypox cases in Minnesota

The U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now reports there are six monkeypox cases in Minnesota.

The first case, contracted by someone who traveled to Europe, was confirmed Monday. Additional reported cases followed later in the week.

“We’re watching it very closely, and for the general public, the concern is generally low,” Jennifer Heath, with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), said earlier this week. “But we do want people to be aware this is circulating.”

Health officials are urging people to learn the symptoms, which according to the World Health Organization (WHO), can start with a fever, intense headache, swollen lymph nodes, muscle aches, and fatigue, then lesions can develop.

“It appears to happen because of close skin to skin, intimate contact from somebody who’s got a lesion, a monkeypox lesion, to somebody who doesn’t,” Dr. Gregory Poland, an infectious diseases expert with the Mayo Clinic, said.

Poland said monkeypox can also spread via respiratory droplets and infected bedding or clothing. The risk of contracting the illness isn’t as severe as other viruses or diseases, however, Poland said.

Federal health officials are now taking steps to try and slow the spread of the virus. Vaccination and testing efforts are being discussed by the CDC and Biden administration.

View a CDC map of cases in the U.S. here.