Contagious Conversations: Responding to the Monkeypox Outbreak


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), monkeypox is a rare disease with symptoms similar to those of smallpox. The current monkeypox outbreak has spread to more than 70,000 people globally, with more than 26,000 cases in the United States—more than any nation. In the latest episode of our Contagious Conversations podcast, we explore the current monkeypox outbreak, what CDC is doing to respond and the challenges ahead of us with the next disease outbreak response.

While generally milder than smallpox, monkeypox can be fatal. And data shows a growing disparity in vaccination rates among different racial and ethnic groups, creating an urgent need to reach those most at-risk with accurate and timely health information. 

For this latest Contagious Conversations discussion, I was pleased to be joined by Dr. Jennifer McQuiston, a captain in the U.S. Public Health Service and deputy director of the Division of High Consequence Pathogens and Pathology within the CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases.

As a veterinarian, Dr. McQuiston specializes in outbreak investigations and research involving diseases that spread from animals to people and believes that helping people understand how to prevent disease is her most important job. 

To support the monkeypox outbreak response, the CDC Foundation in early September activated our Emergency Response Fund, which has played an essential role in bolstering other responses such as Ebola and COVID-19, saving and improving lives. Together with you, we can have a similar impact on the monkeypox response. Learn more about how you can help fight monkeypox and make an impact.

I encourage everyone to listen to this episode and learn more about the current outbreak.

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Claire Stinson is a communications officer for the CDC Foundation.