In regards to monkeypox, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have released a fresh travel advisory. Monkeypox alert level 2 was raised by the CDC on Monday, and people were urged to take “increased precautions” to reduce their risk of getting the illness.
Level 3 travel notifications would entice consumers to stay away from unneeded travel. The alert states that monkeypox cases have been discovered in Europe, North America, South America, Africa, Asia, and Australia. “Some incidences involving males who have sex with men have been documented. People who share a home with an infected person have also been observed to have some instances. Additionally, the alert states that “many of these persons have not recently travelled to countries in central or west Africa where monkeypox typically occurs, like the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nigeria.”
Despite the fact that instances are still emerging throughout the nation and the world, public health professionals emphasize that the danger of the general population catching monkeypox is low. According to the CDC’s “status summary,” as of Monday, there were 31 cases of monkeypox confirmed in the country.
Why was the travel alert raised?
The CDC claims online that the new travel warning resulted from an upsurge in cases everywhere. According to Amesh A. Adalja, M.D., a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, “monkeypox cases are still present in communities all over the world.” When travelling, it’s crucial for people to be aware of this.
According to William Schaffner, M.D., an infectious disease expert and professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, public health officials have also “faced challenges” in determining the origin of these cases of monkeypox. He notes that “a lot of this transmission is sexual.” “This transmission is typically fueled by personal contact.”
Dr. Schaffner claims that “people are travelling to various countries where they may engage in intimacies,” which is why the alert has been issued.
How to spread monkey pox?
According to the CDC, the monkeypox virus can spread when a person comes into contact with the virus from an infected animal, person, or item of equipment.
People contract monkeypox most frequently by coming into contact with infected wounds, scabs, or bodily fluids. According to the CDC, it can also be spread through respiratory secretions during extended face-to-face contact, close physical contact, including sex, and actions like kissing, cuddling, or touching areas of the body with monkeypox sores.
According to the CDC, the virus can also be transferred from animals to people through bites or scratches from infected animals, handling wild game, or using products derived from infected animals. Monkeypox can be contracted through direct contact with bodily fluids or sores on an infected person as well as through items like clothing or linens that have come into contact with such substances.
How to avoid contracting monkeypox while travelling?
The following guidance was provided by the CDC in the alert on how to prevent monkeypox:
- Avoid close contact with sick people, including those with skin lesions or genital lesions.
- Avoid contact with dead or live wild animals, including rats, squirrels, monkeys, and apes.
- Avoid eating or preparing meat from wild game.
- Don’t use products derived from wild animals from Africa, like creams, lotions, and powders.
- Avoid contact with contaminated materials used by sick people , like clothing, bedding, or materials used in healthcare settings, or that came into contact with infected animals.
The risk of getting monkeypox on a plane is low, experts say, even though the warning is technically a travel warning. According to Dr. Adalja, the risk is created by the activities people partake in while travelling or while using a particular mode of transportation. There have been incidents connected to “saunas,” raves, and other activities where people travel to increase transmission.
How do Doctor Schaffner concurs?
It’s possible, but unlikely, to contract monkeypox on a flight, according to Dr. Russo. It really needs to be in close proximity to sick people, especially those who have skin lesions, he claims. Respiratory droplets may be used to spread it. It’s possible for transmission to occur if an infected person was nearby. According to Dr. Russo, this is most likely the reason why there was a brief explanation of masking while traveling. However, he continues, “the risk of acquisition while you are actually travelling is low.
Doctor Adalja concurs. In this outbreak, where direct contact is the main method of spread, he claims that although respiratory transmission of monkeypox is a possibility, it is not a reliable method of transmission.
However, experts emphasize how crucial it is to cover up while traveling. Dr. Schaffner continues to advise wearing a mask to prevent COVID if you are travelling by plane. Doctor Russo concurs. He claims that right now, the risk of contracting COVID-19 (like BA.2.12.1) while travelling is greater than the risk of getting monkeypox.