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As the world continues cautious steps toward normalcy and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, a new virus is capturing its attention. In this country, national newspapers and television news programs have breathlessly relayed mounting cases of monkeypox, likely eliciting concerns that may be out of proportion to actual danger among patients—at least for now. What’s known is that new cases have been reported in 16 countries, including the United States. In response, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a Level 2 travel advisory, indicating that travelers to affected parts of the world should practice enhanced precautions. Further, multiple national news organizations have reported that more than 200 individuals in Massachusetts are being monitored for signs of monkeypox after having been in contact with one patient who tested positive for the virus. Initial symptoms of monkeypox are flu-like and include fever, aches, and fatigue. One day or more after those symptoms appear, patients may develop a rash that often starts on the face before spreading to other body parts. Illness runs its course in 2 to 4 weeks.

Patients May Be Nervous, but the Monkeypox Hype Is Overblown (at Least for Now)