Monkeypox can spread through the air but only through ‘sustained’ face-to-face contact with an infected person, the director of the CDC revealed Friday as the national infection tally hit 49 cases and officials in Hawaii say they fear the tropical disease is ‘in our community’.
In a briefing Friday Dr Rochelle Walensky, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said monkeypox was being passed on through physical contact with symptomatic patients and by touching their clothing and bedding.
But attempting to clear up whether face masks are needed to avoid catching the rash-causing virus, the epidemiologist explained the rash-causing virus would not ‘linger in the air’ like Covid.
‘The disease is not spread through casual conversations, passing others in a grocery store, or touching things like door-knobs,’ she said. ‘All of the case we have seen to date in this outbreak have been related to direct contact.’
During the conference health officials also called on Americans with any sexually transmitted infection — including syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia — to get tested for monkeypox.
They warned many patients were experiencing rashes and sores on the genitals and anus that looked like STIs. Several cases of co-infection with monkeypox and a sexually transmitted disease have also been recorded.
America’s monkeypox cases tally rose to 49 today with Rhode Island becoming the fifteenth state to report a case of the disease. Officials in Hawaii — which reported its third case on Thursday — are now warning it may already be transmitting unchecked in their community.
The update on how the virus transmits came after it posted guidance for people to wear face masks in countries experiencing outbreaks, and then u-turned just 13 hours after it was reported by the media.
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Source: Daily Mail