The CDC Is Now Monitoring Hundreds of People in the US for Potential Cases of Monkeypox
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are monitoring over 200 people in 27 states for possible exposure to monkeypox after having contact with an individual who contracted the disease in Nigeria.
The CDC is working with state and local authorities to identify and assess the individuals, according to Stat.
Andrea McCollum, head of the poxvirus epidemiology unit at the CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, said state and local health authorities will monitor the individuals daily through the end of this month.
“We’re in the time frame where we certainly want to closely monitor people,” she said.
Monkeypox is a rare disease similar to smallpox. Time from infection to symptoms can be up to 21 days, and the illness usually lasts for 2-4 weeks in humans, according to the CDC.
Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, exhaustion and swollen lymph nodes. Within a few days of developing a fever, patients will develop a rash that usually starts on the face and then spreads to other parts of the body.
A case of human monkeypox was found in a U.S. resident who recently traveled from Nigeria to the United States on July 9, according to a CDC news release.
The individual traveled from Lagos, Nigeria, to Atlanta. The person then traveled to Dallas where they are currently hospitalized for the disease.
“Travelers on these flights were required to wear masks as well as in the U.S. airports due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” the CDC said in its news release.
“Therefore, it’s believed the risk of spread of monkeypox via respiratory droplets to others on the planes and in the airports is low.”
Anyone who sat within six feet of the infected individual on the Lagos to Atlanta flight, used the mid-cabin bathroom or cleaned the bathroom is being monitored, as are flight attendants and family members of the individual.
People on the Atlanta to Dallas flight were determined not to be at risk because of the time of possible exposure.
The infection from this particular strain of monkeypox is fatal in about 1 in 100 people, according to the CDC.
It can be spread through different ways including inhalation of respiratory droplets from infected people and having contact with items used by an infected person.
Monkeypox in humans is rare and many cases have been linked to handling bushmeat and trading exotic small mammals.
There was a large outbreak of the disease in the United States in 2003 after a shipment of animals from Ghana contained infected small mammals.
That outbreak, which included the first reported cases in humans outside of Africa, resulted in 47 confirmed and probable cases in five states.
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