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Monkeypox cases in Arizona not cause for concern yet, expert says

Health experts like former State Health Director Will Humble say while cases in some states are increasing there's no need to hit the panic button in Arizona.

PHOENIX — Maricopa County health officials confirm more than 70 probable cases of monkeypox here in the community. 

Health experts like former State Health Director Will Humble say while cases in some states are increasing, there's no need to hit the panic button in Arizona.

"At least of the thousands of infections across the U.S., nothing has been lethal yet," he explained.

Humble explained that most cases are mild and that monkeypox is nothing like what we've seen with COVID-19. He hopes that will ease concerns about the severity of monkeypox and how easy it is to contract.

RELATED: No, there haven’t been any monkeypox deaths reported yet in the U.S.

"The hospitalizations in the United States that have occurred have been because of pain, not because of any kind of other symptoms."

He said it's important to note that many reports of monkeypox stem from specific physical contact.

"If you are having skin-to-skin contact with someone who has visible lesions, that's where the virus hangs out in these lesions so that skin-to-skin contact is what spreads the virus," Humble explained.

Plus, there are two types of vaccines available. However, Humble said one is for smallpox, and the other is for monkeypox and is not as likely to cause adverse reactions.

"We don't want to use the smallpox vaccine Acam2000 because the risk/benefit just doesn't play out there, it does for the 'Jynneos' vaccine that's the one in short supply," he said.

RELATED: Yes, monkeypox can spread by trying on clothing or changing bed sheets

If you're concerned about contracting the virus, you can fill out a questionnaire online to see if you're a candidate.

Humble added that even though states like California, New York and Illinois have declared "states of emergencies," that's not likely to happen in Arizona due to low case numbers in State 48.

"I couldn't see any governor declaring a public health emergency in Arizona for the situation that exists right now," he said.

Lastly, concerned parents with "back to school" on their minds shouldn't sweat the statistics, when it comes to monkeypox

"Drop-offs, the heat, lunches, crossing guards, safe routes to school, there are plenty of other things for parents to think about right now other than monkeypox."

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