23 July 2021
While public health officials track the infectious delta variant of COVID-19 across the United States, the CDC is also monitoring a potential outbreak of another virus — monkeypox.
More than 200 people in 27 states are being monitored for possible exposure after coming into contact with an American who contracted monkeypox in Nigeria before traveling to Texas earlier this month, the Guardian reports. to STAT News.
So far, none of the people being followed are considered to be at high risk, and none have contracted the virus.
The traveler traveled on an overnight flight from Lagos, Nigeria, to Atlanta, Ga. , on July 8, then made another flight to Dallas on July 9. On July 15, the patient went to a Dallas hospital emergency room and was diagnosed with monkeypox, STAT reports.
State health officials and the CDC are monitoring people who sat within 6 feet of the passenger on the overnight flight, flight attendants, passengers who used a designated bathroom on the plane, those who cleaned the bathroom after the flight, and some family members who interacted with the person in Dallas .
“The risk of monkeypox spreading on board and at airports is thought to be low, as travelers have been required to wear masks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and monkeypox is mainly spread through respiratory droplets,” To the Center for Disease Control.
Monkeypox stems from a virus similar to smallpox. It was first discovered in 1958 when the disease broke out in colonies of monkeys held for research in Africa, according to the British newspaper The Guardian. To the Center for Disease Control. The disease is usually mild and causes less serious illness than smallpox but can be fatal in about 10% of cases.
“However, [fatality] Rates can be higher in people with weakened immune systems,” the CDC wrote.
Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, fatigue, and a chickenpox-like rash that develops all over the body, including the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet.
Monkeypox was first detected in humans in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1970, and it usually occurs in remote parts of central and western Africa. It was last discovered in the United States in 2003, according to To the Center for Disease Control, when 47 confirmed and probable cases were reported in six states: Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin.