By Stephanie Stahl

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The CDC says it is likely that there will be more cases of monkeypox in the United States, and the virus is also spreading internationally. Monkeypox has been identified in three states, including New York City.

Officials from health departments in New Jersey and Pennsylvania say there are no cases locally at this time.

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Public health officials are now watching closely for the potential spread of monkeypox across the nation.

So far the CDC has confirmed one case in Boston. There are also four suspected cases in locations including Florida and New York.

“We’re in the early days of this response, it’s likely that there are going to be additional cases reported in the United States,” Dr. Jennifer McQuiston said.

Monkeypox is mainly found in Africa where it is endemic in animals, but now 90 human cases worldwide are being investigated in 12 countries.

CDC officials updated the investigation in a telebriefing.

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“Many of those affected in the current global outbreak identify as gay and bisexual men,” Dr. John Brooks said. “Monkeypox is not a sexually transmitted infection in the typical sense, but it can be transmitted during sexual and intimate contact as well as with personal contact and shared bedding and clothing.”

Monkeypox symptoms include fever, headache, aches and pains, fatigue and swollen lymph nodes.

Within several days, a rash develops that progresses to raised blisters that turn into scabs.

The illness usually lasts two to four weeks.

“This is primarily spread through close contact, generally by touching an infected lesion. Now, it’s interesting that even though this has been around for a long time, this is what we call a neglected tropical disease. So we don’t fully know to what extent it spreads through the respiratory route, but it does look like it has to be close contact for a prolonged period of time, unlike what we see with COVID,” Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Sumon Chakrabarti said.

While they are both viruses, there are huge differences between monkeypox and COVID-19, which has killed millions worldwide.

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“It’s not as contagious as COVID. So, I am confident we’re gonna be able to keep our arms around it,” White House COVID Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha said.

Stephanie Stahl