Monkeypox Is In the United States

Prior to this year, there were no reported cases of monkeypox in the United States since 2003. This all changed when a Texas man brought the rare disease back with him from a trip to Nigeria. Now, there are more than 200 American citizens being tracked for monkeypox across 27 states. Luckily, no new cases have been found.

What is Monkeypox?

According to the CDC, the first human case of monkeypox was recorded in the Democratic Republic of the Congo back in 1970. As time has passed, more cases have been reported throughout the world, such as in countries in central and western Africa. Only four countries outside of this continent have reported cases of the disease: the US, the UK, Israel, and Singapore.

Monkeypox is the result of the Orthopoxvirus poxviridae virus, but medical professionals do not know what the virus’ natural reservoir is. They do have a suspicion that certain rodents could play a role. In terms of transmission, monkeypox can be passed through infected animals, materials, or humans, entering through a break in the skin, mucous membranes, or respiratory tract. Regardless of the way one is infected with this virus, they can experience symptoms anywhere from five to 21 days afterward. Symptoms include fever, exhaustion, chills, backache, headache, swollen lymph nodes, rash, and lesions. They can last for up to four weeks and become severe enough that up to one of every ten patients dies. There is no treatment specific to monkeypox; it is symptomatic.

Monkeypox in the US

The Texas man was identified as the source of the infection within the United States, and it is believed that he exposed passengers on two different flights. On July 9th, he flew from Lagos, Nigeria to Atlanta, before transferring to a flight to Dallas. It was in Dallas that he went to the hospital, and he has since reached stable condition.

In order to fully assess the situation, the CDC is working with the airlines, along with local and state health departments. While they have their attention on the issue, they do not believe that the risk is severe. Because passengers on the planes were wearing masks, the chances that monkeypox was transmitted through respiratory droplets is low. The CDC declared that none of the 200 people who were exposed are considered “high risk.”

You can find the source article here.

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