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Fifth case of monkeypox in Georgia confirmed by health department

All of the cases in Georgia have been among metro Atlanta men, according to health officials.

ATLANTA — The state's Department of Public Health said there are now confirmed five confirmed cases of monkeypox in Georgia.

The news comes roughly four weeks after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention first identified a orthopoxvirus case in Georgia that was later confirmed to be monkeypox.

RELATED: More cases of monkeypox in Georgia confirmed

Monkeypox was first reported in the United States in Massachusetts last month. That patient, a man, had recently traveled internationally, health officials there said.

So far, the CDC reports that there are, globally, roughly 4,300 cases across nearly 50 countries. Health investigators are tracking cases across more than half of states. All of the cases in Georgia have been among metro Atlanta men, according to health officials.

While the disease is spreading, Executive Director of the COVID task force for Piedmont Healthcare System, Dr. Jayne Morgan, previously told 11Alive that while she expects more monkeypox cases to come up, it’s important to remember it is not as contagious as other diseases. 

And while the World Health Organization said the outbreak across 50 countries should be closely monitored, it does not warrant being declared a global health emergency.

RELATED: US buys more monkeypox vaccine as global case count grows

People with monkeypox often experience symptoms like fever, body aches and a rash; most recover within weeks without needing medical care.

Scientists warn that anyone in close, physical contact with someone infected with monkeypox or their clothing or bedsheets is at risk of catching the disease.

Material from the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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