The CDC removed a mask-wearing recommendation from its guidelines for monkeypox for travelers earlier this week, saying it “caused confusion,” according to a statement from the agency shared with MedPage today.
The directive originally read: “Wear a mask. Wearing a mask can help protect you from many diseases, including monkeypox.”
But that statement no longer appears in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Travel Health Notices” about monkeypox.
“Late Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) removed the mask recommendation from its monkeypox travel health notice because it caused confusion,” the CDC statement said.
In countries where monkeypox is currently common, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to recommend hiding people in high-risk situations, including home contacts and health care workers, or to other people who may have been in contact, the statement added. Close to someone who has been confirmed. With monkeypox.”
The decline comes as WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a press conference on Wednesday that “the risk of monkeypox spreading in non-endemic countries is real.”
However, WHO officials said it was not too late to turn things around. Rosamund Lewis, WHO’s technical chief on monkeypox, said during the briefing that “there remains a window of opportunity to prevent the spread of monkeypox in those at greater risk at the moment” and to control the virus.
However, scientists have raised legitimate fears that the virus will become endemic to the United States by potentially establishing itself among animals here. If that happens, the United States could face repeated human outbreaks, according to a news article in Sciences.
There is currently no animal reservoir outside Africa, where ferrets are believed to be the primary animal host, according to Sciences.
Questions were also raised about the modes of transmission in monkeypox, and recent The New York Times The article noted that the virus can be transmitted through the air, “at least over short distances” – which is not surprising to infectious disease experts. While airborne transmission is not believed to be the main driver of propagation, times She stated that “there are no firm estimates of the amount of their contribution.”
It is widely accepted that the primary mode of human-to-human transmission is through very close contact, especially directly with pests; And that, at least in endemic areas, is more commonly transmitted from an animal to a human host.
That’s one reason Grant McFadden, PhD, an Arizona State University virology expert, says masks probably aren’t necessary at the population level yet.
“Masks make sense for people who are in close contact with individuals with monkeypox, but they should not be needed for general use by the public to protect against this disease,” McFadden said. MedPage today By email.
The additional CDC did not respond MedPage today Questions about transmission and concealment of the disease, but the agency is now tracking and publicly reporting monkeypox cases in the United States on a daily basis. As of Thursday, June 9, there were 45 cases in 16 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. On Wednesday, the World Health Organization confirmed more than 1,000 cases of infection in 29 countries outside West and Central Africa.
Canada has shifted to a preventive vaccine strategy in certain cases, Jennifer McQuston, deputy director of the CDC’s Division of Pathogenesis and Pathology, told reporters during the Health Care Journalists’ Association Fellowship gathering on the CDC campus earlier this week.
“They’ve made a change recently, because they’ve had a huge outbreak going on in Montreal with a lot of cases … and they probably have a lot of cases that they haven’t been able to effectively contact tracing,” McCuston said.
Earlier this week, the province of Quebec in Canada reported a total of 90 confirmed cases of monkeypox, and began offering a smallpox vaccine to some people in contact with the infection, according to the CBC. So far, 813 people have been vaccinated, according to the report.
“If we see something like this happening in the United States, we might make a similar decision,” McQuiston said.
She added that CDC scientists are developing risk models to inform the CDC when it would be appropriate to change this switch and make the vaccine more widely available.
Amanda D’Ambrosio contributed to this report.