The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention raised the alert level for monkeypox, recommending people wear masks when traveling and practice other safety precautions.
Previously, the CDC advisory related to monkeypox was Level 1, or the “Watch Level,” for “Practice Usual Precautions” when traveling. Level 2 is an “Alert” level for “Practice Enhanced Precautions.”
While saying the risk to the general public is low, the CDC recommended:
- Avoiding close contact with sick people, including those with skin lesions or genital lesions.
- Avoiding contact with dead or live wild animals such as small mammals including rodents (rats, squirrels) and non-human primates (monkeys, apes).
- Avoiding eating or preparing meat from wild game (bushmeat) or using products derived from wild animals from Africa (creams, lotions, powders).
- Avoiding 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.
The CDC also recommends people wear masks while traveling, particularly in areas experiencing outbreaks.
People are advised to seek medical care immediately if they develop new, unexplained skin rashes, with or without fever or chills, especially if you’ve come into contact with a person who has monkeypox, are a man who has intimate contact, including sex, with other men or are in an area where monkeypox is currently reported.
“Cases of monkeypox have been reported in Europe, North America, South America, Africa, Asia, and Australia,” the CDC said in its alert. “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.”
More than 1,000 cases of monkeypox have been confirmed in countries. As of Tuesday, 31 cases have been reported in the U.S. in 13 states.