MOBILE COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — The Mobile County Health Department said it will work with doctors should locals contract monkey pox. In a news release, Health Officer Dr. Kevin P. Michaels said Monkeypox is “a very rare disease” and “does not occur naturally in the United States.”

Monkey pox is caused by an infection with the Monkey pox virus. While Monkeypox cases have been found in 11 states, cases are limited, and the MCHD said none have been found in Alabama.

The Mobile County Health Department said it will work with the provider, patient and state health department to assist in the public health management of patients.

Dr. Kevin P. Michaels

Monkeypox got its name because it was first discovered in monkeys in 1958. It is found mostly in small mammals like rodents. The first outbreak of the disease in the United States was reported in 2003 after some people had come into contact with infected prairie dogs.

The Alabama Department of Public Health has created a website for Monkeypox information.