The CDC identifies nine cases of monkeypox in the US.

(CNN) — The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, for its acronym in English) identified nine cases of monkeypox in seven states as of Wednesday, according to its director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, in a briefing this Thursday.

Monkeypox cases have been identified in Massachusetts, Florida, Utah, Washington, California, Virginia, and New York.

All the cases “are of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men,” he said.

Walensky called for an approach “guided by science, not stigma.”

“This is a community that has the strength and has demonstrated the ability to address challenges to its health by focusing on compassion and science,” he said, in an apparent reference to the AIDS epidemic.

“Although some groups may have a higher chance of exposure right now to infectious diseases, they don’t care about state or international borders. They are not contained within social media and the risk of exposure is not limited to any particular group.” he warned.

Walensky implored Americans “to address this outbreak without stigmatization and without discrimination.”

The CDC is working to learn more about the outbreak: Samples from the nine identified cases have been sent to the CDC for additional confirmatory testing and genomic research, Walensky said, and efforts are being made to learn how each individual contracted the virus.

Some of the nine cases have a history of recent international travel to areas with active monkeypox outbreaks, he said, but “others don’t.”

The United States expects more cases to be diagnosed, as the CDC has urged doctors and Americans to watch for symptoms.

“It should come as no surprise that more cases are reported in the US in the coming days. It’s actually a sign that Americans are staying vigilant, and health care providers and public health workers are doing their jobs.” said Dr. Raj Panjabi, the White House’s senior director for Health Security and Biodefense.

— This is a developing story and will be updated.

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