A patient who had just traveled in Canada was found on Tuesday to have contracted the monkeypox disease, causing alarm bells from many disease experts regarding the possible spread of the infectious disease.

The patient, who was immediately hospitalized in good condition, is the first case of monkeypox in the U.S. this year. Cases of monkeypox has been surging across the world, popping up in countries such as Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom, according to the New York Post

Monkeypox, which was discovered in 1970 in the Congo, is a disease similar to smallpox or chickenpox that is normally spread through small rodents and mammals, or through human-to-human transmission like respiratory droplets and bodily fluids left in beddings, clothing, and other material, USA Today reported. 

Monkeypox symptoms are similar to that of smallpox. People with monkeypox may experience fever, muscle aches, chills, and fatigue. The disease takes 1-2 weeks to take hold and usually lasts 2-4 weeks, and can form rashes and itchy lesions akin to that of chickenpox. 

Although it is not infectious, many experts are currently worried about the rising trend appearing in other nations. 

“This isn't going to cause a nationwide epidemic like COVID did, but it's a serious outbreak of a serious disease – and we should take it seriously,” Jimmy Whitworth, a professor of public health, said. 

“Monkeypox usually does not occur globally,” Dr. Anne W. Rimoin said, before saying that the new sightings of the virus is rather “rare and unusual” to the general public.

Despite the seriousness of the disease, the Massachusetts Department of Health has reassured the public that “the case poses no risk.” For those who may be afraid of the disease, the smallpox vaccine is said to also work as monkeypox protection due to their similar natures.

“We’re not dealing with a completely novel pathogen that has never been studied before,” she said.

jamie-haughton-Z05GiksmqYU-unsplash A patient with monkeypox was found in Massachusetts after traveling from Canada recently, as new cases of the disease continue to increase around the globe. This is a representational image. Jamie Haughton/Unsplash.