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Possible cases of disease reach 50
Monkeypox now may be in 4 states

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The tally of possible monkeypox cases rose to 50 Tuesday, including a New Jersey boy who may have acquired the virus from prairie dogs while in Indiana.

Health officials expect reported cases to climb as the public becomes more aware of the disease. Five cases have been confirmed by lab tests.

The outbreak -- in Wisconsin, Indiana and Illinois -- marks the first known appearance in the Western Hemisphere of monkeypox, a smallpox-like virus from the rain forests of Africa, where it has killed monkeys and people.

Prairie dogs apparently contracted the disease from a Gambian giant rat while the species were housed together by an exotic pet dealer near Chicago.

The human cases have involved contact with prairie dogs, with no reported spread between people. But monkeypox has been transmitted person to person in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
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