Test tubes labelled “Monkeypox virus positive and negative” are seen in this illustration taken May 23, 2022.
Dado Ruvic | Reuters
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stepped up its monkeypox guidance, urging people to take extra precautions as global cases of the virus surpass 1,000.
The CDC ramped up its alert to a level 2 on Monday, encouraging people to “practice enhanced precautions” to stem the outbreak, which has spread to 29 nonendemic countries in the past month. The highest level alert — level 3 — would caution against nonessential travel.
While the public health body said the risk to the general public remains low, the heightened alert encourages people to avoid close contact with sick people, including those with skin or genital lesions, as well as sick or dead animals. It also urges those displaying symptoms of the virus, such as an unexplained skin rash or lesions, to avoid contact with others and to reach out to their health-care provider for guidance.
Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus, with symptoms including rashes, fever, headaches, muscle ache, swelling and backpain.
It is typically endemic to Central and West African countries, but the recent outbreak across North America, Europe and Australia has confounded health professionals and raised fears of community spread.
As of Monday, 1,019 confirmed and suspected cases of monkeypox have been reported in 29 countries, according to the CDC. The U.K. has recorded the most cases by far, with 302 suspected and confirmed infections. It is followed by Spain with 198, Portugal with 153 and Canada with 80.
Health experts have been searching for clues as to the source of the outbreak, which has historically been linked to travel from endemic countries. The World Health Organization’s technical lead for monkeypox said Wednesday that the virus could have been transmitting undetected within nonendemic countries for “weeks, months or possibly a…
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