CDC Issues Monkeypox Travel Alert: “Extreme Precautions”

How are positive cases of monkeypox confirmed? 2:43 (CNN) — The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an “Alert – Level 2” advisory for travelers to “exercise precautions” due to the spread of monkeypox, a rare disease related to smallpox.
In its alert, the CDC says “the risk to the general public is low, but you should seek medical attention immediately if you develop a new, unexplained rash (lesions anywhere on the body), with or without fever and chills.” The CDC has three types of levels they could issue, as cases have been reported in dozens of destinations. The levels are: Level 1 Watch: Practice usual precautions Level 2 Alert: Exercise extreme caution Level 3 Warning: Avoid non-essential travel The CDC has not applied levels to specific destinations on its website for monkeypox, such as does with Covid-19. Level 2 precautions The CDC has the following recommendations for Level 2 travelers: Avoid close contact with sick people, including those with skin or genital lesions. Avoid contact with live or dead wild animals. This includes rodents like rats and squirrels and non-human primates like monkeys and apes. Avoid eating or preparing meat from wild animals or using products derived from wild animals from Africa, such as creams, lotions, and powders. Avoid contact with contaminated materials used by sick people, such as clothing, bedding, or materials used in healthcare settings, or with materials that have been in contact with infected animals. Where monkeypox has been recorded The Eiffel Tower in Paris. France is one of the destinations where cases of monkeypox have been reported.
Credit: Adobe Stock Although normally associated with tropical Africa, cases of monkeypox have been confirmed worldwide. According to the CDC, cases have been reported in Europe, North America, South America, North Africa, the Middle East, and Australia. Here is the CDC list of destinations with confirmed cases as of June 6: Germany Argentina Australia Austria Belgium Canada Denmark United Arab Emirates Scotland Slovenia Spain United States Finland France Wales Gibraltar Hungary England Ireland Northern Ireland Israel Italy Latvia Malta Mexico Morocco Norway The Netherlands Portugal Czech Republic Sweden Switzerland The United Kingdom (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland), Spain and Portugal are the countries that have reported the highest number of cases, each with more than 100 as of June 6. All other destinations have reported fewer than 100 cases as of June 6. Click here for the CDC’s current global outbreak map. Symptoms of monkeypox The palms of a monkeypox patient in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1997. Credit: Brian WJ Mahy/CDC/Handout/Reuters There is an incubation period of between seven and 14 days, according to the CDC. Initial symptoms are often flu-like, including fever, chills, exhaustion, headache, and muscle weakness, followed by swollen lymph nodes, which help the body fight infection and disease. “One feature that distinguishes monkeypox infection from that of smallpox is the appearance of swollen lymph nodes,” the CDC notes. This is followed by a generalized rash on the face and body, including the inside of the mouth and the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. It can also spread to the genital areas. The raised, painful pustules are pearly and fluid-filled, often surrounded by red circles. According to the CDC, the lesions crust over and resolve within two to three weeks. What to do if you get infected The CDC says to avoid contact with other people first. Other advice: “If possible, call ahead before going to a health facility. If you can’t, tell a member of staff as soon as they arrive that you are worried about having monkeypox.” The CDC says you should tell your doctor about any of the following if they are true in the month before your symptoms start: You have had contact with a person who might have had monkeypox. You are a man who has had intimate contact (including sex) with other men. You have been to an area where monkeypox has been reported or in an area where monkeypox is more common (Cameroon, Central African Republic, Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone and Sudan). If you’re sick and might have monkeypox, the CDC recommends delaying travel on public transportation until cleared by a health care professional or public health officials. — Sandee LaMotte contributed to this report.

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