Story at a glance

  • Officials are reportedly monitoring more than 200 people across the U.S. who were possibly exposed to monkeypox.
  • The CDC is working in 27 states to evaluate individuals who could have come in contact with an infected U.S. resident who returned home from Lagos, Nigeria, on a flight to Dallas.
  • Monkeypox, caused by a virus that is related to smallpox, can cause a less-severe, yet still dangerous, illness.

Officials are reportedly monitoring more than 200 people across the U.S. who were possibly exposed to monkeypox after a person who contracted the virus in Nigeria returned to the U.S. in July. 

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working with authorities in 27 states to evaluate individuals who could have come in contact with a U.S. resident who returned home from Lagos, Nigeria, on an overnight flight to Dallas, Stat News reported

Individuals being observed, who are deemed to have come into contact with the person, include anyone who sat within 6 feet of the infected person, flight attendants and individuals who might have used the same cabin bathroom, according to the outlet. 

“While rare, this case is not a reason for alarm and we do not expect any threat to the general public. Dallas County Health and Human Services is working closely with local providers, as well as our state and federal partners,” said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins in a press release


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“Monkeypox was first discovered in 1958 when two outbreaks of a pox-like disease occurred in colonies of monkeys kept for research, hence the name ‘monkeypox,” according to the CDC

Monkeypox, caused by a virus that is related to smallpox, can cause a less severe yet still dangerous illness, according to Stat News. The disease can cause fever, chills, swollen glands and create a rash across the body. 

The incubation period for the rare disease can range anywhere from three to 17 days. Andrea McCollum, who leads the poxvirus epidemiology unit at the CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, said individuals who potentially contacted the infected person are at a critical moment. 

“We’re in the time frame where we certainly want to closely monitor people,” McCollum told Stat News.

The first case of monkeypox was recorded in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1970. Meanwhile in 2003, the U.S. recorded 47 cases across five states. 


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Published on Jul 23, 2021