President Biden's just declared monkeypox a public health emergency, and while it's already having a huge impact on gay communities, it could quickly spread outside that bubble ... according to a doctor on the front lines.
Dr. Anne Rimoin, a UCLA professor of epidemiology, joined us Thursday on "TMZ Live" and revealed there's already been a spill-over between communities in the U.S., and that won't stop unless we take appropriate action.
She explains "an infection anywhere can be an infection anywhere" -- meaning, it's time for ALL Americans to draw the line before the virus becomes more prevalent in society, in general.
The World Health Organization's put Dr. Rimoin on its Emergency Committee to tackle the monkeypox crisis, and she says this virus has been a simmering problem for years in Africa ... where she's been doing research since the early 2000s.
She recalls a 2017 outbreak in Nigeria and the symptoms were different from the ones she'd seen prior, showing how it can mutate over time.
In Dr. Rimoin's eyes, we've been making the mistake of not caring because it was outside our borders ... but now, as more than 6,000 people in the country have been diagnosed since mid-May, she's hoping all alarms are finally ringing.