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At least 24 cases of monkeypox across 11 states have been identified, US health officials said over the weekend, with more than 400 potential contacts under investigation. Two strains are said to be circulating in the country. Officials say the risk to public health remains low, and a widespread epidemic is unlikely.
The spread comes amid a broader global outbreak, with more than 900 cases reported in almost 30 countries (see map). It marks the largest known spread of the virus outside of Central and Western Africa, where it is endemic. Officials say the current outbreak was likely seeded at two European raves, with a high number of cases being reported by gay and bisexual men.
The rare infectious disease is typically transmitted to humans via interaction with monkeys and rodents, and human-to-human transmission is low. Learn more about monkeypox here.