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US increases the monkeypox alert however, the risk to the public is very low.

CDC warns travelers to avoid contact with sick people, with more than 1,000 cases in at least 29 countries

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has raised its monkeypox alert level and warned travellers to be mindful of approaching sick people, though it also said the risk to the general public remained low.

Monkeypox outbreak was waiting to happen, say scientistsRead more

More than 1,000 monkeypox cases have been reported in at least 29 countries and every continent except Antarctica as of Monday. The US has seen 31 cases of the virus in 13 states, including seven in New York and six in California.

Many of the infected had not recently travelled to the areas of Africa where monkeypox usually occurs, such as Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo and other parts of central and western Africa, the CDC said. Some of the cases involved people living with an infected person. Investigators have been examining whether at least some cases in the current outbreak may be spreading through sexual contact.

The CDC urged travelers to avoid close contact with sick people – especially those with lesions on their skin or genitals – and their bedding or clothes.

Others with whom to avoid contact included dead or live rats, squirrels, monkeys and apes, since the virus that causes monkeypox often comes from rodents and primates. The CDC also cautioned against eating or preparing meat from wild game, known as bushmeat, or using creams, lotions or powders derived from animals in Africa.

Biden says ‘everybody’ should be concerned about spread of monkeypoxRead more

“Risk to the general public is low,” the CDC said. “But you should seek medical care immediately if you develop new, unexplained skin rash (lesions on any part of the body), with or without fever and chills, and avoid contact with others.”

At one point on Monday the CDC told travelers to “wear a mask” as it “can help protect you from many diseases, including monkeypox”, according to a screenshot posted on Twitter by epidemiologist Eric Feigl-Ding, but the recommendation no longer appeared on the CDC’s website on Tuesday.

The monkeypox virus does not spread easily between people, though transmission can occur through contact with an infected person’s body fluids, sores, contaminated bedding and clothes, and respiratory droplets during face-to-face contact.

The virus has a slow incubation period, and those exposed to it can be given existing smallpox vaccines to limit severity of any sickness.

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