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Monkeypox cases confirmed in Central Pennsylvania

Lancaster County has multiple confirmed and suspected monkeypox cases being treated at area health facilities.

LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. — Confirmed cases of monkeypox are being treated in Lancaster County.

Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health and WellSpan Health have confirmed that they are treating known and suspected cases of the disease.

Dr. John Goldman, infectious disease expert at UPMC, said this was not surprising. 

“When you start to see disease spread outside of its endemic area, you start to see it spread in multiple countries,” Goldman said.

According to the CDC, the United States has had over 11,000 cases so far. In Pennsylvania, there are nearly 300.

On Saturday, Lancaster General Health started tapping into their limited vaccine supply. However, Dr. Goldman said that doesn't mean there should be a rush to get vaccinated.

“Ninety-some percent of the cases are in high-risk networks," Goldman said. "But I don't think the general population needs the vaccine right now.”

Even so, many Central Pennsylvania health systems said they are preparing—offering PCR tests and treatment if people have, or suspect they have, the disease.

The amount of people infected, Dr. Goldman said, should remain low. 

“It's not going to be something where we see a huge widespread outbreak," Dr. Goldman said. "We'll see scattered cases, (but) we're not going to see thousands of cases a day in the United States.”

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