The CDC is warning travelers about Monkeypox (ZEEDIGN / iStock / Getty Images Plus)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning travelers to North America, Europe and Australia to take the proper precautions against Monkeypox – although the agency tempered its advisory by issuing only a ‘Level 2’ health notice and saying that the risk of the general public contracting the virus is low.
The CDC’s Level 4 advisory, or ‘do not travel,’ is its highest warning.
According to USA Today, the agency said that monkeypox cases have been reported in the United States, Canada, Australia, Israel and European countries including Belgium, Austria, England, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, Spain, and Switzerland.
The CDC said that while Monkeypox might sound new, it’s not. It’s been around for decades and usually originates in Africa, but generally in small numbers. It is not considered as transmissible as the COVID-19 virus that has resulted in a global pandemic for more than two years.
However, the CDC is concerned that Monkeypox has spread beyond just a handful of cases.
“None of these people reported having recently been in central or west African countries where monkeypox usually occurs, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nigeria, among others,” the CDC said in its travel health notice.
Monkeypox is similar to Smallpox. The agency is advising travelers to practice precautionary measures such as washing their hands, using hand sanitizer and avoiding touching their face.
USA Today noted that the World Health Organization described Monkeypox as being “transmitted from one person to another by close contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets and contaminated materials such as bedding.”
Capt. Jennifer McQuiston, a veterinarian and deputy director of the CDC’s Division of High Consequence Pathogens and Pathology, told the newspaper that Monkeypox “is not an easily transmissible virus. This is not COVID.”
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