U.S. health officials this week revealed that the United States has currently recorded a total of 20 monkeypox cases, a number spread out across nearly a dozen states that authorities nevertheless insist is little cause for worry.
Authorities with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said at a press conference this week that the cases—double that which had been earlier reported—were from a mutation of the virus of less worry to the public.
“The strain of the monkeypox virus affecting patients in this outbreak is the West African clade,” CDC pathologist Jennifer McQuiston said, “and that is less severe than other known clades [such as] the Congo Basin clade, meaning that in historical outbreaks in Africa it has led to fewer deaths.”
The majority of cases of monkeypox in the U.S. have been associated with gay men, though at least one heterosexual woman was reported to have contracted it after a trip to Africa.
No deaths from the virus have yet been reported in the United States.