Monkeypox outbreak fears as CDC monitors 200 people in 27 states for possible exposure after contact with infected Texan

THE CDC is monitoring more than 200 people in 27 states for possible exposure to monkeypox after contact with an infected Texan.

The infected individual contracted the disease in Nigeria before traveling to the US, stopping in Atlanta before heading to Dallas, on July 8-9.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that so far, no additional cases of the disease have been detected among those who are being monitored.

State and local health officials are working with the CDC to follow up with people who may have come in contact with the disease every day until later this month, according to Stat.

The infected person had traveled to Lagos, Nigeria, before returning to the US, and was diagnosed with the disease in an emergency room in Dallas.

Those being monitored include people who sat within six feet of the sick person on the flight from Lagos to Atlanta, people who used the mid-cabin bathroom on the flight, airline workers who cleaned the bathroom, flight attendants, and some family members of the sick individual.

Passengers who sat near the person on the Atlanta-Dallas flight were deemed to have had too short of an exposure to be at risk.

WHAT IS MONKEYPOX?

The case of monkeypox is the first confirmed case of the disease in the US in two decades.

Monkeypox is considered a rare disease that can cause widespread rashes, fever, headaches, and muscle aches in people who contract it.

According to WHO, the monkeypox virus has similar features to the more dangerous human smallpox.

There are two types of monkeypox viruses – the more contagious and harsher version from Central Africa and the other from West Africa. 

In a statement, the CDC said the risk of transmission for other passengers on the flight with the infected person was low.

“Travelers on these flights were required to wear masks as well as in the U.S. airports due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic," the statement said.

"Therefore, it’s believed the risk of spread of monkeypox via respiratory droplets to others on the planes and in the airports is low.”

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