Amid the largest monkeypox outbreak ever in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued new guidance.
Since May 2022, monkeypox cases, which have historically been rare in the United States, have been identified in 18 states and territories among both persons returning from international travel and their close contacts domestically, the CDC said.
The CDC said there have now been 72 confirmed cases of monkeypox -- a big jump from the 19 cases reported at the beginning of June.
Globally, more than 1,600 cases have been reported from more than 30 countries, and the case count continues to rise daily, the CDC said.
The first case of monkeypox in the United States was diagnosed in a traveler who returned to Massachusetts from Canada on May 17, 2022.
According to the CDC, travelers should:
- Avoid close contact with sick people, including those with skin lesions or genital lesions.
- Avoid contact with dead or live wild animals such as small mammals including rodents (rats, squirrels) and non-human primates (monkeys, apes).
- Avoid eating or preparing meat from wild game (bushmeat) or using products derived from wild animals from Africa (creams, lotions, powders).
- Avoid contact with contaminated materials used by sick people (such as clothing, bedding, or materials used in healthcare settings) or that came into contact with infected animals.
According to the CDC, monkeypox presents as a flu-like illness accompanied by:
- Swelling of the lymph nodes
- Rashes and lesions on the face and body
- Muscle aches
In addition, the World Health Organization named these other possible symptoms:
- Back pain
- Asthenia (profound weakness)
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