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Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Monkeypox outbreak sparks panic in the US

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Manish Saini
Manish works as a Journalist and writer at Revyuh.com. He has studied Political Science and graduated from Delhi University. He is a Political engineer, fascinated by politics, and traditional businesses. He is also attached to many NGO's in the country and helping poor children to get the basic education. Email: Manish (at) revyuh (dot) com

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Texas Department of State Health Services have verified a case of human monkeypox in the United States after a US citizen flew from Nigeria to Dallas through Atlanta.

The infected individual is presently being treated at a hospital. The CDC is collaborating with the airline and a number of other organisations to identify passengers on the impacted aircraft who may have had contact with the infected individual.

“CDC is working with the airline and state and local health officials to contact airline passengers and others who may have been in contact with the patient during two flights: Lagos, Nigeria, to Atlanta on July 8, with arrival on July 9; and Atlanta to Dallas on July 9,” said the CDC in an urgent statement.

The statement, however, noted that the danger of infection is low since most, if not all, passengers wore face masks throughout the trip.

The CDC further added:

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.

Most infections last 2-4 weeks. Monkeypox is in the same family of viruses as smallpox but causes a milder infection.

In this case, laboratory testing at CDC showed the patient is infected with a strain of monkeypox most commonly seen in parts of West Africa, including Nigeria. Infections with this strain of monkeypox are fatal in about 1 in 100 people.

“However, rates can be higher in people who have weakened immune systems.”

Experts are unsure where monkeypox originates in nature.

They believe it may be transmitted by African rodents and tiny animals.

People may get infected with the virus if they are bitten or scratched by an infected animal.

The illness may also be passed on via intimate contact with an infected rodent or animal when cooking wild meat.

The virus transmits between individuals through respiratory droplets or contact with bodily fluids, monkeypox lesions, or objects contaminated by such fluids.

A lengthy face-to-face contact, however, is needed for any possibility of infection.

The majority of human monkeypox outbreaks have occurred in Africa, with one significant epidemic occurring in the United States in 2003 when numerous African mice were imported and infected prairie dogs.

Photo credit should read Jepayona Delita / Barcroft Media via Getty Images

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