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Lisa Jarvis

Monkeypox Isn’t Looking Like a Covid-Sized Threat

It’s still early, but contact-tracing efforts and analysis of the virus’s genome offer hope that this outbreak can be contained.

Telltale rash.

Telltale rash.

Photographer: CDC/Getty Images

In just the past few weeks, at least 92 confirmed and 28 suspected cases of monkeypox have been reported across Europe, Canada, Israel, the US and Australia. And that number stands to grow as surveillance expands, Maria Van Kerkhove of the World Health Organization said Monday.

This is concerning, but no reason for anyone to panic. The global response to these case clusters is so far working as it should. Scientists are sequencing and analyzing the genes of virus samples. Public health agencies are tracking down people who might have been exposed. Education efforts are underway to make health-care workers and any vulnerable communities aware of the outbreak. And governments are preparing to deploy vaccines and antivirals as needed.