Monkeypox is a viral disease usually found in Western Africa. However, a traveller from Nigeria got the virus and flew back to Dallas. The US CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) are not very concerned about this case as the viral disease is not that transmissible. According to US officials, monkeypox is less deadly than smallpox.
Was anyone else on the flight infected? Since the viral illness is not that transmissible, authorities believe this to be a one-off case. However, every passenger will be checked out for safety reasons.
“The individual is a City of Dallas resident who traveled from Nigeria to Dallas, arriving at Love Field airport on July 9, 2021. The person is hospitalized in Dallas and is in stable condition,” the Dallas County Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement.
“We have been working closely with the CDC and DSHS (the Texas Department of State Health Services) and have conducted interviews with the patient and close contacts that were exposed. We have determined that there is very little risk to the general public,” said DCHHS Director Dr. Philip Huang.
The CDC is now contacting all the flight passengers and alerting the people who have been in contact with the infected individual. That includes both flights, Lagos, Nigeria, to Atlanta on July 8, with arrival on July 9; and Atlanta to Dallas on July 9. However, due to the implemented measures against coronavirus, wearing the mask would make the spread of monkeypox very low.
“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, it’s believed the risk of spread of monkeypox via respiratory droplets to others on the planes and in the airports is low. Working with airline and state and local health partners, CDC is assessing potential risks to those who may have had close contact with the traveler on the plane and specific settings,” the CDC said.
The monkeypox symptoms are fever, headache, muscle aches, exhaustion, and skin blisters that will scab over.
“The main difference between symptoms of smallpox and monkeypox is that monkeypox causes lymph nodes to swell while smallpox does not,” the CDC said.