Earlier, Red Voice Media reported that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reintroduced the recommendation for people to wear masks when traveling due to the monkeypox virus. Now, we have an update on that recommendation, in that it’s been removed quietly from the CDC website. The alert still remains at Level 2, however.
Thanks to the Way Back Machine, which is an internet archive site that captures screengrabs of specific websites, it can be seen that at some point between June 6 at 9:21 pm and June 7 at 3:51 am, the CDC removed the recommendation.
The CDC has not released any information as to why the recommendation was removed, although it also didn’t give any information or explanation when it was added on June 1, either.
Below is the screengrab of the new bullet points from the CDC on traveling, which does not include the mask-wearing.
Interestingly, the removal of the mask recommendation was done within less than 24 hours of the media reporting on it, starting with Fox News, again, with no explanation as to why.
As Red Voice Media reported, Dr. Amesh Adalja told NBC News that it’s possible Monkeypox was being spread much sooner but was mistaken for a sexually transmitted disease, as it often presents with the same symptoms. Dr. Adalja also indicated that the virus is mostly transmitted through skin contact.
“While monkeypox can be transmitted through respiratory droplets,” the doctor said, “that is not the main way people are getting it. For example, the household attack rate [number of people who catch the virus who live with an infected person] is not very high. In the same household, people are not getting infected at high rates.”
Dr. Adalja also said that the CDC likely removed the recommendation “after consideration,” and it had nothing to do with the media bringing it to light. “It is unfortunate that they put it on there and then removed it,” he said, “because it will lead some people to believe something nefarious is happening — but that is not the case.”
Previously, the doctor said, “What’s likely happened is an endemic infectious disease from Africa found its way into a social and sexual network and then was greatly aided by major amplification events, like raves in Belgium, to disseminate around the world.”
Monkeypox symptoms include fever, headache, and muscle aches, followed by a rash or lesions. Apparently, two different strains of the virus have been found in the US since the first case was identified on May 18 from a traveler from Canada. The vast majority of the cases in the US apparently match the strain that has been found in European countries.
Both strains identified stateside are less severe than the one found in countries where the virus is endemic, mainly in African countries. There have been no deaths reported from this most recent outbreak, although the CDC said that anywhere from 1-11% of cases can prove to be fatal.
The fact that there are two strains in the United States likely means that “there were multiple animal-to-human transfers of the virus.”