Just as positive test results for a new variation of COVID-19 have begun to skyrocket, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced that there is another virus to be aware of in the U.S.
On Friday (July 16), the CDC announced that they, along with the Texas Department of State Health Services, confirmed a single case of monkeypox in a U.S. resident that had traveled back from Nigeria and through Atlanta and, eventually, Dallas. The traveler arrived in Dallas on July 9, and the CDC and Texas Department of State Health Services confirmed that the person had monkeypox yesterday. The person is currently hospitalized in Dallas.
While the CDC doesn’t make light of the virus, they do note that, because passengers on planes in the U.S. have been required to wear masks amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the risk of monkeypox having been spread through respiratory droplets on the plane were low. However, the organization says they’re working with “airline and state and local health partners” to assess “potential risks to those who may have had close contact with the traveler on the plane and specific settings.”
The CDC says monkeypox is an illness that usually lasts for two-to-four weeks and manifests itself through flu-like symptoms and “swelling of the lymph nodes and progresses to a widespread rash on the face and body.”
So far, there have only been six monkeypox cases reported in instances where travelers were returning from Nigeria.
This news surfaces as the world opens back up, but the Delta variant of COVID-19 has been spreading. According to NBC, half of the new positive COVID-19 tests have consisted of the Delta variant. While monkeypox isn’t a massive issue at the moment, it’s clear that people still need to be vigilant when it comes to the sickness that kept the world indoors for most of 2020.