200 people across 27 states are being monitored for monkeypox after they came into contact with Texas man who became infected in Nigeria
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is monitoring about 200 people in 27 states for possible exposure to monkeypox after they came in contact with a Dallas man who contracted the disease this month during a trip to Nigeria.
The unnamed man was returning from Lagos, Nigeria, and had stopped in Atlanta, Georgia, on July 8 and 9 on his way to Texas – nearly a week before being diagnosed with the rare disease.
He was placed into isolation at a hospital and is in stable condition.
CDC officials said they are working with state and local health officials to monitor those who came into contact with the patient and follow up on them daily until the end of the month.
The disease can be transmitted through respiratory droplets and body fluids.
No additional cases of monkeypox have been detected so far, STAT reported.
Those being monitored include fliers who sat within six feet of the patient or used the mid-cabin bathroom on the overseas flight.
Flight attendants, staff who cleaned the bathroom and family members who had contact with the man in Dallas are also being monitored.
Passengers who flew on the flight from Atlanta to Dallas with the man were deemed to have too short of an exposure period to be at risk, Andrea McCollum, the lead poxvirus epidemiologist at the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Disease, told STAT.
“We define indirect contact as being within 6 feet of the patient in the absence of an N95 or any filtering respirator for greater than or equal to three hours,” she said.
Incubation of the virus generally takes between one to two weeks.
People with more serious cases of the virus will often develop skin lesions, among other symptoms like rash and fever.
Monkeypox is a rare but potentially serious viral illness that typically begins with flu-like illness and swelling of the lymph nodes and progresses to a widespread rash on the face and body,’ according to the CDC.
Most infections last two to four weeks.
‘We have confidence in the federal, state and local medical professionals who are working to ensure that this virus is contained and that the patient is treated with the utmost care,’ Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said in a statement.
Around 10 percent of cases of monkeypox end in death, though the strain the man has is less severe, and often has a 1 percent chance of death.
Six previous cases of monkeypox from around the world have been tied to travelers returning home from Nigeria.
Experts are not sure of the true origin of monkeypox.
The virus was first discovered in 1958 in crab-eating macaques.
The first case detected in humans was in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
It has since been discovered in many central and western African nations.
It is believed that the virus transmits from animals to humans when the animal bites of scratches a person.
It can also spread person-to-person by respiratory droplets in the air.
The disease has largely vanished, until a 2003 flare-up in the United States saw the virus return to humans.
The identity of the man who contracted the virus has not been revealed, and his case is not related to any other case of human monkeypox detected in recent years.
There are no specific treatments or vaccines available for the virus, though the smallpox vaccine is believed to have helped make it a non-problem in humans for many years.
Antiviral agents against the disease are currently being explored, though, according to the World Health Organization
Other cases of monkeypox were detected in Wales last month, when at least two people came down with the virus in the northern part of the country.
The first ever cases of monkeypox in the United Kingdom were detected in 2018.