US holidaymakers should practice caution when travelling in light of the monkeypox virus. This is the advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) after the agency upgraded its monkeypox travel alert to Level 2, out of a maximum of three.
It comes after cases of the virus were reported in the US and in several countries in Europe and the Middle East, including France, the UAE and Israel, as well as in the UK, Australia and Canada.
The CDC said travellers should “practice enhance precautions” as the rare virus continues to spread.
People infected with monkeypox may experience fever, a headache, muscle ache and swollen lymph nodes, followed by a rash.
Travellers should avoid close contact with people who are sick, as well as wild animals, and should avoid eating meat from wild game or using products derived from wild animals from Africa, said the foundation.
The virus is spread through contact with skin lesions or bodily fluids, or through contact with contaminated materials, according to the World Health Organisation.
Despite the updated alert, the CDC said that risk to the general public is low. It advised anyone who is sick and could have monkeypox to delay travelling on public transportation until they’ve seen a doctor.
The virus is not new and has been seen for decades in parts of Central and West Africa.
An American resident who had returned to the US from Canada was the first positive case in the country. While it’s not the first time a US traveller has contracted the virus, it’s the first time the world has seen such a large person-to-person transmission.
On Friday, in a bid to prevent the spread of the virus, Belgium introduced a three-week quarantine period for anyone testing positive with monkeypox. Other countries, including the UK, have since issued similar instructions.
Updated: May 26, 2022, 9:05 AM