TORONTO – More than 200 individuals in 27 states are being tested for possible exposure to monkeypox after coming into contact with an American man who contracted the rare disease after returning from a trip to Nigeria, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said. ) has confirmed on.
The government agency said there is one confirmed case of monkeypox in the United States, and none of the people identified for surveillance are considered to be at high risk of contracting the disease.
These individuals were on flights with the patient or had contact with the patient. The investigation is ongoing and the numbers may change slightly in the coming days, but no additional cases have been identified at this time, Amanda McGurn, a health communications specialist who works with the CDC’s Division of Smallpox and Rabies, said in an email. statment. to CTVNews.ca on Wednesday.
On July 15, the CDC and the Texas Department of Health Services confirmed a human case of monkeypox in a man who is currently in a hospital in Dallas.
The man traveled from Lagos, Nigeria, to Atlanta on July 8, and from Atlanta to Dallas the next day.
Passengers on these flights are required to wear masks, as well as at US airports due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, the risk of monkeypox spreading via respiratory droplets to others on board and at airports is thought to be low.”
McGurn said the CDC has sent notices to doctors and is in contact with public health authorities across the country and internationally to ensure that people who may have been exposed are monitored and receive “prompt treatment” if they become ill.
“Early treatment and isolation of people showing symptoms of monkeypox also helps prevent the spread of the disease,” she added.
According to the CDC, monkeypox is a rare but potentially serious viral disease that typically begins with a “flu-like illness and swollen lymph nodes” and progresses to a widespread rash on the face and body.
Monkeypox was first detected in monkey colonies conducted for research in 1958, and the first human case was recorded in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1970, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the virus that causes monkeypox belongs to the same family of viruses as smallpox, but it causes a milder infection that usually lasts between two and four weeks.
In the confirmed case in Texas, the CDC said the patient had a type of monkeypox most common in parts of West Africa, including Nigeria.
“Infection with this type of monkeypox kills about 1 in 100 people. However, rates may be higher in people with weakened immune systems.”
While the natural reservoir for monkeypox remains unknown, the CDC said African rodents and mammals play a role in its transmission.
Although monkeypox rarely appears in humans, the United States saw a significant outbreak of 47 cases in humans in 2003 after the virus spread from imported African rodents to domestic prairie dogs.
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