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What you should know about monkeypox, vaccine

There are 32 cases in Tennessee and only one in Knox County. Health experts believe the virus will not spread as fast as COVID-19.

TENNESSEE, USA — A map from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows there are 32 reported cases of monkeypox in Tennessee. 

The Knox County Health Department said the virus has made its way to Knoxville with only one reported case

Health experts believe the virus will not spread as fast as COVID-19.

"I would like to reinforce that this is a very, very unusual event, that this virus cannot be transmitted readily — the way COVID has been transmitted," said Dr. William Schaffner with Vanderbilt University Medical Center. 

Schaffner said the virus mainly spreads by skin-to-skin contact. 

"So we will not see huge outbreaks in our general population," Schaffner said. 

Symptoms include fever and uncomfortable skin rashes that can appear anywhere on the body. It can also spread through sexual contact with another person. 

RELATED: No, monkeypox is not considered a sexually transmitted disease

The monkeypox virus can infect anyone. 

"But it can be transmitted to others because the virus doesn't care what your sexual inclination is," Schaffner said. 

Other monkeypox transmission sources include direct contact with the infection, prolonged face-to-face contact and touching an infected surface.

There is a vaccine available. The Knox County Health Department said due to limited supply, it is following the CDC's recommendations by giving it to those who are at risk of infection. 

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