Monkeypox isn’t ‘same kind of virus’ as COVID, doctor says

There is no ‘asymptomatic spread’ with the monkepox virus, Northwell Health internist stresses

As more cases of monkeypox are identified worldwide, one doctor says it isn’t the "same kind of virus" as COVID-19. 

"This is very different from what we were dealing with COVID," Northwell Health Internist Dr. Frank Contacessa told "Varney & Co.," Wednesday. 

"COVID is enormously transmissible just being near somebody who is carrying the virus… you can contract it, and we have asymptomatic spread with COVID…Monkeypox is not that way."

Dr. Contacessa continued to say that there is no asymptomatic spread with monkeypox since you have to be in close physical contact with somebody who is "exhibiting symptoms."


Monkeypox can be contracted by contaminated bed linens, bodily fluids, and close skin contact, he warned. 

"There [are] some respiratory droplets spread, but it's not the primary mode of transmission with this virus," the doctor noted. 

Last Wednesday, Massachusetts health officials confirmed the first case of monkeypox, a rare but potentially serious virus, in the United States so far this year.

Monkeypox was originally found in wild animals but can be transferred to humans. Most cases have been discovered in central and West Africa. 

The Sacramento County Division of Public Health announced Tuesday that public health officials are looking into a "likely" case of the monkeypox virus in a California traveler who recently came from Europe. 

The patient is currently isolated at home. 

Symptoms of the virus include fever, chills, rash and aches. Most patients who contract the virus have recovered within several weeks without requiring hospitalization. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced there are vaccine doses in the Strategic National Stockpile to prevent the monkeypox from spreading. Production is expected to "ramp up" quickly in the coming weeks. 

Vaccine monkeypox virus

Northwell Health Internist Dr. Frank Contacessa told FOX Business that there is no asymptomatic spread with monkeypox unless you are in close proximity of someone "exhibiting symptoms."  (REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration / Reuters)

Dr. Contacessa suggested that it is not necessary for people to change their behavior, such as social distancing or masking, to prevent the spread of the monkeypox virus. 

"I really hope that the powers that be don't use this as an excuse for a knee-jerk reaction to throw us back into quarantines and lockdowns… make people panicked about being around other people," the doctor said.  


"This is not the same situation… This is not the same kind of virus."

Fox News' Jon Brown contributed to this report.