The CDC is monitoring more than 200 people in 27 states for possible exposure to monkeypox, after they were in contact with a Texan who contracted the rare disease in Nigeria earlier this month.
State and local health officials are working with the feds to monitor the individuals who were in contact with the monkeypox patient and follow up with them daily until July 30, according to the website.
The patient traveled from Lagos to Dallas with a layover in Atlanta on July 8 and 9, nearly a week before being diagnosed with the rare bug, which can be transmitted through respiratory droplets and body fluids, the CDC said.
The people being monitored include fliers who sat within six feet of the patient or used the mid-cabin bathroom on the overseas flight, according to the article.
Airline workers and family members were also being evaluated for possible exposure to the virus, which has an incubation period of three to 17 days, the outlet reported.
“It is a lot of people,” Andrea McCollum, epidemiologist for the National Center for Emerging Zoonotic and Infectious Diseases, reportedly said.
“We’re in the timeframe where we certainly want to closely monitor people.”
Passengers who sat near the infected person on the domestic leg of his trip were not at risk, officials told the website.
“We define indirect contact as being within six feet of the patient in the absence of an N-95 or any filtering respirator for greater than or equal to three hours,” McCollum reportedly said.
The bug causes fever, chills, swollen glands, and a rash accompanied by pus-filled blisters that appear across the body.
Cases outside West Africa are rare, and an outbreak has not been seen in the US since 2003, when 47 confirmed and probable cases were traced to a shipment of infected exotic animals , according to the report.
In 2018, three people in England who had all traveled to Nigeria contracted the virus, which has a 10 percent mortality rate in Africa, the CDC noted
The disease was first discovered in 1958 when outbreaks occurred in monkey colonies, according to the CDC.