HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – In the new fight against monkeypox, the Alabama Department of Public Health says it continues to work with the CDC in identifying any possible cases.

News 19 spoke with Dr. Wes Stubblefield, who says the rare disease is not related to chickenpox but is close to smallpox and therefore can be avoided with the smallpox vaccine.

However, Stubblefield said no one with monkeypox symptoms in Alabama has tested positive. As a result, the CDC has not sent any additional doses of the Jynneos smallpox vaccine from the Strategic National Stockpiles (SNS).

“Again, we haven’t had any positive cases,” he said. “But again, the whole thing is about having a process in place so that we know what to do when and if we do see it in Alabama.”

Stubblefield added that, unlike COVID-19, monkeypox spreads mostly through just physical contact.

So far, a few cases in the Southeast have been identified in Georgia and Florida.