As of Friday, some 80 monkeypox cases have been confirmed and an additional 50 are under investigation in 11 countries, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). HOW DANGEROUS IS IT? The virus is not as easily transmitted as the SARS-CoV-2 virus that spurred the global COVID-19 pandemic. 'COVID is spread by the respiratory route and is highly infectious. This doesn't appear to be the case with the monkeypox,' said Dr. Martin Hirsch of Massachusetts General Hospital. WHAT HAVE HEALTH EXPERTS CONCERNED ABOUT? Most of the cases reported so far have been detected in the UK, Spain and Portugal. There have also been cases in Canada and Australia, and a single case of monkeypox was confirmed in Boston, with public health officials saying more cases are likely to turn up in the United States. HOW CAN PEOPLE PROTECT AGAINST INFECTION? More broadly, health officials say that people should avoid close personal contact with someone who has a rash illness or who is otherwise unwell. People who suspect they have monkeypox should isolate and seek medical care. WHAT MIGHT BE BEHIND THE SPIKE IN CASES? Rasmussen said a number of factors including increased global travel as well as climate change have accelerated the emergence and spread of viruses. The world is also more on alert to new outbreaks of any kind in the wake of the COVID pandemic, she said.