In the United States, Texas state and federal health officials have confirmed a case of human monkeypox in a US resident who recently traveled from Nigeria to the United States.
The person is currently hospitalized in Dallas. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are working with the airline and local and state health officials to contact airline passengers and others who may have been in contact with the patient on two flights: Lagos, Nigeria, to Atlanta destination July 8, arriving July 9; and Atlanta in Dallas on July 9.
Travelers on these flights were required to wear masks, just like at U.S. airports due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, the risk of spreading monkey pox through respiratory droplets to other people on airplanes and at airports is estimated to be low.
Working with airlines and local and state health partners, the CDC is assessing the potential risks to people who have had close contact with the traveler on the plane and in specific environments.
Prior to the current case, at least 6 cases of monkeypox were reported in travelers returning from Nigeria (including cases in the UK, Israel and Singapore). This case is not linked to any of these previous cases. In the UK, several other cases of monkeypox have occurred in people who have been in contact with cases.
Reminders on the monkeypox :
Monkeypox is a largely self-limiting disease, that is, a disease that resolves on its own. Generalized vesicular rash, fever, and painful swelling of the jaws are characteristic symptoms associated with infection. Although there is no specific drug to treat the disease, when intensive supportive care is provided virtually all patients make a full recovery, as we have seen with the current outbreak.
The monkeypox virus is a member of the genus Orthopoxvirus in the family of Poxviridae. Monkeys are not the reservoirs of the virus. The main suspect reservoirs are rodents, such as squirrels (Funisciurus sp. an arboreal rodent), and terrestrial rodents (genera Cricetomys and Graphiurus).
Infection results from direct contact with blood, body fluids, or rashes from infected animals (handling infected macaques, or rodents).
Secondary human-to-human transmission results from close contact with excretions from the infected respiratory tract, with lesions on the skin of an infected person, or with recently contaminated objects.
After an incubation period of 6 to 16 days, the period of invasion (0-5 days), is characterized by fever, severe headache, lymphadenopathy (swelling of the lymph nodes), muscle pain . Then a rash occurs on the face (in 95% of cases), on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet (75%) and almost simultaneously on the body. The rash manifests as maculopapules (lesions with a flat bottom), then vesicles (small blisters filled with fluid), and pustules, followed by scabs. Symptoms of monkey pox usually last 14 to 21 days.
The virus is transmitted from an infected animal or through contact with rashes, blood or bodily fluids of the animal. The virus can also be transmitted person to person through contact and respiratory or direct contact with contaminated bedding or clothing.
There is no specific treatment for monkeypox.
Risk for travelers:
Travelers to countries in Central and West Africa that report cases should be aware of the risk of infection. However, very few visitors to Africa would be infected with Monkeypox and the risk for the vast majority of travelers is low. The main risk is for long-term residents of the affected areas.
Travelers from Central or West African countries are invited to:
- avoid contact with monkeys and rodents;
- avoid consuming undercooked meat from these or any other sources;
- wear protective clothing, including gloves, if involved in the slaughter or care of animals in affected countries;
- observe meticulous hand hygiene (including gloves) when visiting or caring for sick friends and family in affected countries;
- consult a doctor in case of fever or rash during or after travel to affected countries.
Source : Outbreak News Today.