Summer Travel Taking You Abroad? Here's What To Know About Monkeypox

Major international travel destinations like England and Mexico are now on the list of countries with confirmed cases of monkeypox, but experts say you are not at particular risk if you travel there

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The World Health Organization warns of a risk that monkeypox will become established outside of Africa as the number of cases across 29 countries climbs past 1,000.

Major international travel destinations like England, France, Italy and Mexico are now on the list of countries with confirmed cases of monkeypox.

Mexican officials say their case is a Dallas County man who was vacationing in Puerto Vallarta, a popular destination for tourists.

However, if you have international summer travel plans, experts say you should be okay -- if you know what signs to look for.

"What I find interesting is the number of cases that have already happened over this number of countries. It really kind of worries me in that we've had this circulating for some time in order to get to this level that we're seeing just now," said public health expert Dr. John Carlo, CEO of Prism Health and member of the Texas Medical Association's Board of Trustees.

Carlo's concerns stem from the increase in cases in countries where the viral infection is not endemic and where it seems to be spreading from person to person.

Previous outbreaks have been traced to contact with animals.

However, Carlo says traveling to locations with confirmed monkeypox cases won't pose a particular risk.

In the current outbreak, transmission seems to be skin-to-skin contact between people, often involving exposure to infected people's rashes or lesions.

"The way monkeypox is transmitted from person to person really lends itself to be low risk, in that you have to be in close contact with somebody that is showing symptoms of the monkeypox rash. We think that the transmission risk is low," said Carlo.

It's important to remember good hand hygiene. Touching contaminated objects such as bed linens, clothing, or medical equipment used by an infected person can spread the virus.

Masks may be a good idea while traveling since you can get monkeypox by being within a few feet of an infected person and breathing in the virus released when they cough or sneeze.

"At this point, the recommendations are to be watchful for any symptoms and see a health care provider if those situations occur," said Carlo.

According to experts, monkeypox is one of the rare diseases in which you can vaccinate somebody after they’ve been infected, before they have symptoms, and block the disease.

Monkeypox symptoms usually occur in two stages.

The first stage is fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes and tiredness.

The second stage is the skin rash that occurs 1 to 3 days after the fever begins.

This version of monkeypox isn’t usually life-threatening and no deaths have been reported in non-endemic countries so far.

The CDC provides more information for travelers here.

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