Could you have monkeypox? CDC confirms new case in airline traveler


Travelers walk through the Salt Lake City International Airport, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

(WFRV) – A case of human monkeypox was found in a U.S. resident who recently traveled from Nigeria to the United States.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Texas Department of State Health Services confirmed the case on July 15, 2021, and affirms the resident is currently hospitalized in Dallas.

According to a release, the CDC is working with the airline, 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.

CDC says they are assessing potential risks for those who may have had close contact with the traveler on the plane and specific settings. 

Travelers on these flights were required to wear masks as well as in the U.S. airports due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, officials say it’s believed the risk of spreading monkeypox via respiratory droplets to others on the planes and in the airports is low.

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.

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

In this case, CDC says laboratory testing 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, health officials explain rates can be higher in people who have weakened immune systems.

Prior to the current case, there have been at least six reported monkeypox cases in travelers returning from Nigeria (including cases in the United Kingdom, Israel, and Singapore). Officials say this case is not related to any of these previous cases.

In the United Kingdom, several additional monkeypox cases occurred in people who had contact with cases.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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