The CDC is monitoring over 200 people in 27 states for potential monkeypox exposure following interaction with a Texan who caught the rare disease earlier this month in Nigeria. According to the website, state and municipal health officials are collaborating with federal officials to monitor and follow up on anyone who came into touch with the monkeypox patient daily until July 30.
The patient went from Lagos to Dallas on July 8 and 9 with a layover in Atlanta, about a week before being diagnosed with the uncommon virus spread via respiratory droplets and bodily fluids, the CDC said.
According to the post, those being monitored include passengers who sat within six feet of the patient or used the mid-cabin bathroom during the international journey.
Additionally, airline employees and family members were being assessed for probable exposure to the virus, which has a three to seventeen-day incubation period, the source stated.
“It is a lot of people,” said Andrea McCollum, epidemiologist for the National Center for Emerging Zoonotic and Infectious Diseases. “We’re in the timeframe where we certainly want to closely monitor people.”
Officials said that passengers who sat near the diseased person on the domestic leg of his trip were not at risk.
“We define indirect contact as being within six feet of the patient in the absence of an N-95 or any filtering respirator for greater than or equal to three hours,” McCollum reportedly said.
“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,” the CDC said in its statement.
Outside of West Africa, incidences remain uncommon, and the US has not had an outbreak since 2003. The 47 confirmed and probable cases were linked to a shipment of infected exotic animals, the reports stated. According to the CDC, the disease was discovered in 1958 when epidemics occurred in monkey colonies.
According to CDC data, the Texas case came after three confirmed cases of the disease in the United Kingdom related to a Nigerian worker.