Cheryl Bartlett is not an expert on monkeypox, but she is an expert on public health.

Bartlett is the Executive Director and CEO of the New Bedford Community Health Center, and a former Commissioner of Public Health in Massachusetts under Governor Deval Patrick.

She joined Townsquare Sunday this week to discuss monkeypox in New Bedford.

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There has been one case of monkeypox diagnosed in New Bedford, back in June at the Community Health Center. Bartlett said the person who was ill is not a New Bedford resident, but she believes there are a small number of "presumptive" cases in the city, perhaps five or less.

However, Bartlett said people are starting to pay attention.

"I think people are becoming aware of it and paying attention to their own interactions, but I don't think there's this overall concern like we had with COVID," she said.

Bartlett explained that early symptoms of moneypox are similar to symptoms experienced with COVID, like aches and pains, sluggishness and headaches – but then, a troublesome rash emerges.

Right now, about 95 percent of the cases are being transmitted by men who have sex with men.

"There is a large gay population in our area, so that population is paying attention, going into their primary care providers and getting vaccinated," Bartlett said.

As an aside, the SouthCoast LGBTQ+ Network is sponsoring a Zoom forum on Wednesday, August 24 on the monkeypox virus with several speakers.  You can check the network's Facebook page for more information.

The complete interview with Bartlett can be heard here:

Townsquare Sunday is a weekly public affairs program heard every Sunday morning at 6 and 11 a.m. on 1420 AM and 99.5 FM.

The program highlights individuals and organizations seeking to make the SouthCoast a better place to live and work.

If you would like your organization featured on Townsquare Sunday, please e-mail the host at

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