What you need to know about the Monkeypox virus

Monkeypox continues to spread across the area, with Albany, Greene, and Columbia counties all reporting a confirmed or suspected case.

Dr. James Saperstone is with Community Care Pediatrics in Guilderland. He says they are seeing more of the virus this year than they have traditionally seen in the past. He says pregnant women and people who have a weak immune system should be on the lookout for the virus.

However, Saperstone says the strain they know about is very benign. Those with monkeypox tend to get skin legions and little vesicles that get water filled. Saperstone says even though it may not look pretty, he says if you get it, it is not the end of the world.

The disease can spread in different ways. This includes through infectious rashes, scabs and body fluids and even through contact with infected clothing or infected animals.

So far, CDC studies show the majority of cases involve men having sex with men. However, Saperstone says it is not an STD and anyone can get it.

“But we have to be careful with the way we describe it, word it and the optics that we present to the public,” said Saperstone.

That’s a point that Nathaniel Gray, executive director of the Pride Center, wants the community to be aware of. He doesn’t want this viewed as a gay disease.

“We got to be really careful that we make sure we are talking about this in all people can contract this very normal skin contact disease.”

Gray wants public officials to let the LGBTQ community handle their own messaging.