What Idahoans Planning To Travel Should Know About Monkeypox
News of the spread to the United States of a very rare virus initially discovered more than 60 years ago in central Africa has been making headlines for almost a week now. A single patient on the East Coast tested positive for the virus that produces pustules on the body on May 18 after returning from Canada.
A large percentage of U.S. residents are hearing about Monkeypox for the first time following a single positive case of the Orthopoxvirus genus in a patient in the Massachusetts area, according to data shared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Other suspected Monkeypox "clusters" are also being investigated and treated in other regions of North America, such as Quebec.
According to the CDC, this virus is incredibly rare, but should still be taken seriously as Monkeypox has now spread to countries such as Italy, France, and Australia, which to date, hadn't previously had positive cases reported. Any U.S. citizens that may have traveled to Africa recently should monitor their health for any symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle pain, and skin lesions, according to the CDC.
While health professionals aren't entirely sure how the virus spreads, it is thought that human exposure to certain rodents and animals is likely the cause, according to the CDC. The majority of infections worldwide have been discovered in western and central Africa.
Idahoans that have traveled internationally in recent weeks should pay close attention to their health and report any unfamiliar skin rashes to their health care provider immediately.