CDC Raises Travel Alert for Monkeypox

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently revised its travel advisory from Level 1 to Level 2 due to the recent monkeypox outbreak around the world.

An update posted to the agency’s website wrote: “Cases of monkeypox have been reported in Europe, North America, and Australia,” adding that cases were reported among homosexual males. “Some cases were also reported in people who live in the same household as an infected person.”

“None of these people reported having recently been in central or west African countries where monkeypox usually occurs, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nigeria, among others,” the advisory continues to say.

Travelers should avoid close contact with sick people, namely those with skin lesions. They are advised to avoid contact with dead or living wild animals such as small mammals, rodents, and primates. The CDC also says that people should not eat or prepare meat from wild game in Africa.

“Contact with contaminated materials used by sick people (such as clothing, bedding, or materials used in healthcare settings) or that came into contact with infected animals” is also not recommended, the CDC adds.

The agency concluded that the risk to the general population still remains low, but people should seek immediate medical care if they have developed new and unexplained skin rashes and lesions with or without fever and chills. Those people are urged to avoid contact with others as well.

Officials with the World Health Organization (WHO) have said that there are more than 200 monkeypox cases worldwide, although Sylvie Briand, the WHO’s epidemic and pandemic preparedness and prevention chief, said on May 27 that “we don’t know if we are just seeing the peak of the iceberg [or] if there are many more cases that are undetected in communities.”

“We are still at the very, very beginning of this event,” Briand added. “We know that we will have more cases in the coming days,” she said, adding: “This is not a disease the general public should be worried about. It is not COVID or other diseases that spread fast.”

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