The growing number of monkeypox in the United States and Europe indicates that the virus has already spread widely in different communities, but it will probably not cause a major epidemic like Kovid, said Pfizer board member and former FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CNBC on Friday.
“Now that the community has expanded, it can be difficult to eliminate it completely. I don’t think it’s going to be a big epidemic because it’s a virus that’s hard to spread, “the former Food and Drug Administration commissioner told Squawk Box.
Monkeypox is a rare viral disease that starts with flu-like symptoms and swollen lymph nodes, eventually leading to rashes on the body and face. According to Gottlieb, monkeypox is spread through open contact with the infected person’s wounds and has a long incubation period of 21 days or more. This means that many people may be infected with the virus because infected patients may not have been diagnosed or misdiagnosed, he said.
Gottlieb’s comments came two days after U.S. health officials confirmed a case of the virus in a Massachusetts man who recently traveled to Canada. The New York City Department of Health said Thursday that NYC Health + Hospitals is investigating a possible case of a person being treated at Bellevue.
Monkeypox, which re-emerged in Nigeria in 2017, has spread to several countries in the past few weeks, prompting health officials to warn doctors and the public about the virus.
Gottlieb added that many have been disconnected, indicating that the spread within the community is “quite wide.” He said there could be far more infections than what health officials have found since it is such a long incubation period and doctors still do not know how to detect it.
But he said the United States could only see a low-level spread that “becomes difficult to prevent” because it could be difficult to establish public health measures such as mass vaccinations using the Vaccine virus vaccine.
He noted that the virus is endemic in some countries, where the Democratic Republic of the Congo reports five to 10,000 cases a year.
“It simply came to our notice then. But this is just a continuous spread of low levels, cases pop up here and outbreaks there, “says Gottlieb.
However, he stressed that the virus can still be dangerous. According to Gottlieb, the death rate from strain spreads ranges from 1% to 4%. He described it as a “disabling” virus that could last two to four months, causing fever and sores.
The CDC on Wednesday called on doctors to identify patients with rashes that are compatible with monkeypox. According to the agency, people suspected of having the virus should be isolated in a negative stress room – a space used to isolate patients – and staff should wear appropriate personal protective equipment around them, according to the agency.
Disclosure: Dr. Scott Gottlieb is a CNBC contributor and he is a board member of Pfizer, Genetic Testing Start-up Temps, Health Care Tech Company Aetion and Biotech Company. The Illuminati. He is also serving as its vice-president Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings‘And Royal CaribbeanIts “healthy sail panel.”