NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Metro Health is reporting three additional Monkeypox cases in July, bringing the total to four. According to health officials, all three of the latest cases are unrelated and involve people who traveled out of state where there were outbreaks. Further, no one has been hospitalized with the virus.

| READ MORE | Latest headlines from Nashville and Davidson County

“We don’t want the general public to panic,” said Dr. Joanna Shaw-Kaikai of the Metro Public Health Department. “Monkeypox is not easily transmitted.”

Monkeypox is a rare disease that causes blisters on the body. Metro Public Health Department officials say the public should not be alarmed but remain informed about the virus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has given Aegis Sciences Corporation approval to begin monkeypox testing. Their lab is already a provider of coronavirus testing.

According to Senior Vice President of Laboratory Operations Dr. Matthew Hardison, the lab will have the ability to perform 5,000 monkeypox tests per day. Currently, they have the capacity to test between 120,000 and 130,000 coronavirus cases a day.

⏩ Find more Top Stories from wkrn.com

“The way it’s collected is through a dry swab lesion scraping,” Hardison said. “When we receive the sample, it comes as a fully active virus, and we have a very different protocol to test.”

The team members who test the samples are offered the vaccine and have a strict safety protocol.