Monkeypox: The US has declared a public health emergency

The official announcement is intended to raise awareness of the disease and a step to open emergency funding for the development and improvement of access to vaccines and treatments. What impact could it have on global travel?

The US has declared a public health emergency due to the spread of monkeypox. Photo by Depositphotos

The Biden administration declared monkeypox as a public health emergency yesterday (Thursday, August 4, 2022). The official announcement is intended to raise awareness of the disease and a step to open emergency funding for the development and improvement of access to vaccines and treatments.

“We are ready to take our response to the next level in the treatment of this virus, and we urge every American to take monkeypox seriously,” said the health minister. Xavier Bisra . Rochelle and Lanskythe director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US who participated in the briefing said that the official announcement is expected to help improve the accessibility of the data for the disease.

The city of San Francisco has already declared a state of emergency following the outbreak and the state of New York has declared an “imminent threat”. World Health Organization (WHO) declared on Saturday (23.07.2022) the monkeypox (monkeypox) as a global health emergency following its outbreak in several countries. The Ministry of Health announced taking steps to prevent the spread of the disease in Israel and bringing in thousands of vaccines. How will this affect flights?

The answer from the health experts is that it shouldn’t have any effect, and now for the facts: according to the World Health Organization, anyone diagnosed with monkeypox or who has symptoms consistent with the virus should avoid all travel until they are no longer considered a public health risk. 5 deaths have been recorded so far and most of the 17,000 monkeypox cases reported so far are in Europe, although they have already been found in 75 countries around the globe (Israel, USA, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria and more). About 6,000 have been reported in the US, but the World Health Organization and local doctors warn that the numbers may be much lower than the real figures.

Here is what you need to know about the disease and what effect it may have on global travel:

Although there is a monkeypox vaccine, there is no requirement to be vaccinated against it at this time in order to fly. But travelers should be aware of areas with high disease rates (See a map).

Experts claim that since this is a new outbreak, not all health services are familiar with the diagnosis and treatment, something that should be taken into account. You don’t need to go into panic, but it’s better to take precautions. Great Britain, Germany and Belgium are registering an increase in the number of patients and have published recommendations for 21-day isolation for people diagnosed with the disease. At the same time, isolation is not effective in preventing the spread due to the long incubation period of the virus, especially compared to the corona virus.

Monkey pox, the disease?

The cause of monkeypox is a virus and the disease is characterized by fever, swollen lymph nodes and an extensive rash. The rashes caused by smallpox can cause many severe and sometimes painful lesions, especially on the face and limbs.

The disease was first identified in the 1950s among monkeys, with the first human case occurring in the Congo in the 1970s. Before the latest outbreak, the virus was mainly active in rural areas of central and western Africa.

The symptoms of monkeypox are similar (but milder) to those of smallpox. After contracting the virus, people may experience fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue and chills within five to 21 days. The distinctive rash and lesions can appear 1-3 days later, mostly around the face, hands, feet and genitals. Symptoms usually last two to four weeks and go away without treatment, although there are more dangerous complications in rare cases, leading to death in 3% to 6% of cases in previous outbreaks, according to the World Health Organization. According to the World Health Organization, the latest outbreak is said to have resulted in only five deaths worldwide.

Experts say that what we are seeing now is only the tip of the iceberg and believe that the numbers are underreported because of the stigma surrounding the disease and the fact that it can be sexually transmitted. It’s a fact that it’s spreading across Europe: in Spain, the UK, Germany and wherever people are traveling this summer.

The spread of monkeypox: how does it affect travel? freepik photo

How to avoid monkey pox ?

Monkeypox is spread through direct contact and fluid exchange between humans, or humans and animals. Respiratory droplets can spread the disease, but this is very rare. Blood, body fluids, mucous from lesions, and even bedding and clothing can spread the virus. At the moment it is mainly an outbreak among men who have sex with men. So far, 105 men have been diagnosed with monkeypox in Israel.

What do you do to reduce your risks of getting monkeypox??

* Avoid contact with people with a rash that looks like monkeypox.

*Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with monkeypox.

*Don’t share dishes or glasses with a person with monkeypox.

* Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels or clothes of a person with monkeypox.

*Wash your hands often with soap and water or a disinfectant in a public place.

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