AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — The CDC has confirmed more than 9,000 cases of monkeypox in the United States. More than 600 of those are in Georgia.

Since May, the viral disease has been monitored, the first cluster of cases being confirmed in the United Kingdom. 

Local doctors say there are signs to watch out for.

“If they’ve got a rash, if they’ve got lesions on their hand, stay away from that rash,” Dr. Rodger MacArthur Professor of Medicine in Division of Infectious Diseases said.

The Georgia Department of Public Health says “It’s important to remember that monkeypox is not transmitted like COVID and typically takes skin-to-skin or other close contact to transmit.

Dr. MacArthur says that there is a possibility the disease can make its way to the CSRA.

“The majority of those cases in the Atlanta area, but, people don’t stay in Atlanta, they travel throughout the state, they travel elsewhere. So, it is going to spread substantially slower than COVID-19.”

But, AU Health has gotten a head start on prevention measures.

“Well AU Health has been ahead of this, they’ve been very proactive, they formed a task force. We’re talking about what to do, what precautions to take, educational efforts as well with the staff,” Dr. MacArthur said.

He says simple, yet, important health and safety measures should be practiced. 

“Wash the hands. You never know, I mean you could be around somebody, maybe they’ve coughed, maybe they’ve sneezed. Again, aerosolization, droplets,” Dr. MacArthur said.

Dr. MacArthur says monkeypox is not something to panic about, but just be aware.

“This is not the time to panic, it’s out there, we know how to handle it, we’ve got a vaccine, we actually got treatment for it.”