Monkeypox: CDC is monitoring 6 people in US for possible rare infection, says public shouldn’t be worried


Monkeypox: CDC is monitoring 6 people in US for possible rare infection, says public shouldn't be worried

Currently, the CDC is monitoring six people in the United States for possible monkeypox infections after they sat near an infected passenger who was showing symptoms on a flight from Nigeria to the UK in early May.

Separately, CDC officials are also investigating a case of monkeypox that was confirmed in a man in Massachusetts who recently traveled to Canada. And the New York City Health Department is currently investigating a possible infection in a patient at Bellevue Hospital.

Meanwhile, monkeypox infections have recently been detected in several other regions of the world where the virus is not normally spread, including Canada, the UK, Italy, Northern Ireland and Spain.

“We have a level of scientific concern about what we are seeing because this is a very unusual situation. Monkeypox is typically only reported in West Africa or Central Africa, and we don’t see it in the United States or Europe — and the number of cases reported is definitely outside of normal levels for what we would see,” said Jennifer McQuiston, associate director the Division of Pathogens and Serious Pathology at the CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases CNN on Thursday.

“At the same time, there really aren’t that many cases being reported — I think maybe a dozen, a few dozen — so the general public shouldn’t be concerned that they’re at imminent risk of monkeypox,” she said. “We’re working through the investigation.”

Overall, “we have people who are constantly monitored for diseases,” CDC spokeswoman Christine Pearson wrote in an email Thursday. That means if someone has been exposed to a pathogen, their health will be monitored and they should see a doctor if they develop symptoms.

The six people currently being monitored for potential monkeypox are all “healthy, asymptomatic and considered to be at low risk,” Pearson wrote, adding that none were seated next to the sick passenger and none were in direct contact.

As the CDC’s investigation continues, discussions have begun to include the issue of vaccines.

CDC discusses and evaluates smallpox vaccine

CDC officials are evaluating whether to offer a smallpox vaccine to health care workers treating monkeypox patients and other people who may be at “high risk” of exposure to monkeypox, McQuiston said.

“It’s definitely something we’re discussing and evaluating whether offering a smallpox vaccine makes sense in the current environment,” she said. “We’ll be closer to making recommendations for that in the next few days or so.”

The variola virus, which causes smallpox, and the monkeypox virus are related in some ways, as they are both members of the genus Orthopoxvirus, which belong to the scientific family of “smallpox” viruses. Therefore, some of the same vaccines given to prevent smallpox have also been shown to prevent monkeypox. Although the viruses are related, monkeypox is less contagious than smallpox and causes less serious illness.

“We have vaccines that are stockpiled and ready to be used, and if they are assessed as a means of dealing with this outbreak, we have the availability to use them,” McQuiston said.

“I’d say we’re just beginning to understand what’s causing this outbreak – and the fact that we’re seeing cases being reported in multiple places around the world suggests that it may have been since.” lasts a few weeks.” She said. “As we work to complete our investigation and take care of it, hopefully we’ll have much stronger recommendations for people.”

Monkeypox, a viral disease, is rare in the United States and the virus is not naturally occurring in the nation, according to the CDC. However, cases have been identified that have been linked to international travel or importing animals from areas where the disease is more common. After the virus jumps from an animal to a human, human-to-human transmission of monkeypox can occur if a person encounters the virus through direct contact with: large respiratory droplets, body fluids, or lesions on the skin.
Monkeypox symptoms can include fever, headache, muscle pain, and swollen lymph nodes. A feature of the disease is that it can cause lesions and rashes on the body, including the palms and soles.

“This is not a disease that’s going to spread across the country,” said Dr. Daniel Bausch, president of the American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene, told CNN on Thursday.

“Obviously from a public health perspective we need to investigate and respond – I think the general population should just be aware of that – but there’s certainly no reason to panic and I think it’s highly, very, very unlikely that.” we’re going to get any big outbreaks of it,” he said. “And if you haven’t been in contact in Massachusetts and you’re related to the person who had the disease, or not related to that connection at all — until we have another reason to expect or to understand how this disease got into the United States — your risk of contracting monkeypox is really low.”

A monkeypox mystery

In Massachusetts doctors Wearing the same personal protective equipment they wear for Covid-19 patients, they are treating the U.S. monkeypox patient at a specialty pathogen unit at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he was originally diagnosed.

“They underwent an examination related to symptoms and the infectious diseases doctor who saw the patient and found out about some cases in the UK decided that the patient could possibly have monkeypox,” said Dr. Erica Shenoy, medical director for the Regional Emerging Special Pathogens Treatment Center and associate chief of the department of infection control at Massachusetts General Hospital, told CNN on Thursday.

“Then we had discussions with our state health authorities. The decision was made, yes, they met the test criteria,” Shenoy said. The patient tested positive.

“I think for the public at large there really isn’t a clear risk at this point,” Shenoy said. “This is an evolving situation that we want to better understand – why these clusters, which have also been reported in the UK, Portugal and Spain, are occurring and to better understand the epidemiology.”

Health officials in both the UK and Canada have noted that many of the cases of monkeypox have been identified in men who have sex with men – but the virus is not usually described as a sexually transmitted infection and investigations into these recent cases are ongoing .
Rare case of monkeypox reported in England, says UKHSA
Monkeypox was first discovered in 1958 when two outbreaks of a smallpox-like disease were observed in monkey colonies kept for research, leading to the CDC’s name “monkeypox.” The first human case of monkeypox was reported years later in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo amid intense efforts to eradicate smallpox.
In the United States, the last outbreak of monkeypox was in 2003, when 47 confirmed and probable cases were reported in six states: Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin. “No case of monkeypox infection has been attributed solely to personal contact,” according to the CDC.

All of the people infected with monkeypox during this outbreak contracted it after exposure to prairie dogs, the CDC found. These pets were placed at a pet dealer’s facilities in Illinois, where they may have been infected with the virus. The facilities housed other small mammals imported from Ghana that tested positive for the monkeypox virus: two African opossums, nine dormice and three rope squirrels.

“The prairie dogs got monkeypox from the imported animals and then passed it on to the people,” Bausch said. “It’s a bit of a misnomer to call it monkeypox. The reservoir for this virus, the natural reservoir in nature, is probably certain types of rodents.”

The US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy said Thursday that people shouldn’t be concerned about monkeypox at this time, but that they should be aware of the symptoms and when to seek help.

Murthy explained on CNN’s New Day that monkeypox is rare in humans, “but when it does occur, it’s a serious problem that we should investigate and we need to make sure we understand if and how it spreads from person to person.” Person.”

The symptoms are generally similar to those of the flu, he told CNN’s John Berman and Erica Hill.

“The good news is that we currently have one confirmed case. But we should always be on the lookout for more cases,” he said. “At this point, we don’t want people to worry. Even at this point, those numbers are still small – we want them to be aware of these symptoms and speak to their doctor if they have any concerns.”

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