CDC raises monkeypox alert level, recommends masks during travel

David Matthews
New York Daily News (TNS)

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention raised its monkeypox alert level on Monday and recommended travelers wear masks while cautioning that it was not on the same level of concern as COVID-19.

Monkeypox presents as flu-like symptoms before patients develop a painful rash and lesions and swollen lymph nodes.

The incubation period between exposure and when symptoms first appear can be anywhere from five to 21 days, according to the World Health Organization.

The CDC said cases have been reported on every continent aside from Antartica.

“Some cases were reported among men who have sex with men. Some cases were also reported in people who live in the same household as an infected person,” the CDC said. Experts said a number of sexually transmitted infections present similar symptoms and the real number of infections could be higher.

The agency reported 31 confirmed cases in the U.S. as of Monday afternoon. The first reported cases in Washington, D.C., came on Sunday.

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This 1997 image provided by the CDC  during an investigation into an outbreak of monkeypox, which took place in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), formerly Zaire, and depicts the dorsal surfaces of the hands of a monkeypox case patient, who was displaying the appearance of the characteristic rash during its recuperative stage. As more cases of monkeypox are detected in Europe and North America in 2022, some scientists who have monitored numerous outbreaks in Africa say they are baffled by the unusual disease's spread in developed countries.  (CDC via AP)