Amid an ongoing monkeypox outbreak, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued heightened warnings for travelers. With the summer season drawing closer, there will likely be a spike in summer travelers via airline, train, bus, etc. The CDC hopes to get ahead of any potential monkeypox epidemic risk by bringing attention to the disease now.
What is Monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a viral disease that begins as flu-like symptoms but then causes painful rashes and open lesions on the skin across the body. It is usually transmitted through unprotected sexual contact, but it can also be transmitted through any skin contact with an infected individual. The likelihood of contracting monkeypox is greater if the infected individual has open lesions.
If treated correctly, monkeypox symptoms can last for up to one month before the patient begins to recover. Typically, the final symptoms of monkeypox are the lesions, which will eventually heal closed and fall off the body as scabs. Anyone who has or might have monkeypox should seek medical attention immediately, though, as the disease can be fatal if untreated.
CDC Monkeypox Precautions for Travelers
At this time, the CDC has warned that travelers should wear a mask to protect them from COVID-19 and monkeypox. Even if traveling via an airline or another transportation company that does not legally require mask use, travelers should wear one. Monkeypox is usually transmitted through physical contact, but it is not fully understood if the virus can be transmitted through mucus particulates like the coronavirus and other respiratory illnesses.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified the largest number of confirmed monkeypox cases in western Europe. Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom have the highest density of cases at this time. Anyone who is planning to travel to Europe, especially these three countries, should be mindful of the monkeypox risk and take any additional precautions necessary to protect themselves.
How Travelers Can Protect Against Monkeypox
Travelers can help reduce the risk of monkeypox exposure by taking these precautions:
- Wear a mask whenever using public transportation like a bus, airplane, ferry, train, etc.
- Avoid direct physical contact with anyone who has reported flu-like symptoms in the last two weeks.
- Check monkeypox outbreak reports from the destination country before departing, which should include updated precautions from that country’s government.
- Postpone any trips that can be delayed, such as recreational summer trips overseas.
- Practice good hygiene, such as frequent handwashing and sanitization, especially when out in public.
- Do not eat or drink around an individual who is coughing or sneezing.
Seeking Treatment for Monkeypox
From our team at Advance ER, we wish you and your family the safest travels this summer. Please take precautions to protect yourself from the risk of monkeypox and COVID-19.
If you or a loved one begin showing flu-like symptoms, then you should seek medical attention at an approved clinic. Be sure to inform the clinic of the full extent of your symptoms, so the medical staff can take precautions to protect themselves as well. Your treatment would likely begin with COVID-19 testing, but it might also include additional diagnostic testing if you recently traveled to a country with a confirmed monkeypox outbreak.
If your symptoms are showing lesions, then you should seek urgent medical attention. At Advance ER, our 24-hour emergency center staff includes a certified dermatologist who can diagnose the lesions and recommend continued treatments.
We have two clinics in Dallas, Texas. Call (214) 494-8222 to learn more about our emergency care options.