CDC monkeypox warning urges ‘enhanced precautions’ for travel

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned travelers about monkey pox after cases were reported in North America, Europe and Australia. The Level 2 warning urged people to travel to “Practice Enhanced Precautions,” although the agency said the risk is low for the general public.

Confirmed cases of the rare disease have been found in countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia, England, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and Israel.

“None of these people reported having been recently in Central or West African countries where monkeypox is most common, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nigeria,” the CDC warning says.

As monkeypox panic spreads, doctors in Africa see a double standard

The CDC warned travelers to avoid close contact with sick people and wildlife such as small mammals and primates (alive or dead). Travelers are also discouraged from preparing or eating game meat, and the agency said travelers should refrain from using products — such as creams, powders and lotions — made from African wildlife. The warning says to avoid contact with materials used by sick people or animals.

Monkeypox causes symptoms such as headache, muscle aches and fever, along with lesions on the body, with illness lasting between two and four weeks, the agency said. Infections usually arise from contact with the skin lesions or body fluids of people or animals that are infected. Those include respiratory drops. People can also become infected through contact with contaminated materials. The disease kills as many as 1 in 10 people in Africa.

The CDC recommended seeking medical attention if you have a new rash on your skin without explanation, staying away from others and, if you think you might be infected, stay off public transportation until you are acquitted.

An infection in Massachusetts was the first identified in the United States this year. Health authorities have shared their concerns about the increase in the number of cases. However, they have also said that the virus is significantly less transmissible than the coronavirus.

President Biden said Monday he did not expect a quarantine to be necessary to contain the spread of monkeypox in this country. “I just don’t think it’s reaching the level of concern that has been with Covid-19, and the smallpox vaccine is working for it,” he said at a news conference.

Studies show that the smallpox vaccine is at least 85 percent effective against monkeypox, according to the CDC.

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