Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its recommendations on monkeypox. The experts announced the need to wear a mask, since “it can help protect from many diseases including monkeypox.” But until now, it had not been explained with complete certainty if it could be transmitted through the air.
The statement on the use of a mask for this disease was changed hours later “because it caused confusion,” according to the agency. In this way, they eliminated the recommendation in their health guidelines for travelers. But the agency still indicates that in countries where smallpox is spreading, “household contacts and health workers” should consider wearing masks.
According to The New York Times, experts claimed that the virus can be transmitted through the air, at least over short distances. However, there are no solid estimates of how much it contributes or how far away that would be.
In a 2012 review of smallpox transmission, University of Maryland virus expert Donald Milton described several cases of airborne transmission.
The CDC still urges monkeypox patients to wear a surgical mask, “especially those who have respiratory symptoms.” They are also recommended for people who live with the infected who do not use it or who maintain contact with them.
The Permanent Vaccination Commission (Stiko) of Germany, for its part, recommended this Thursday vaccinating those who have been exposed to the virus with Imvanex against monkeypoxas well as groups considered at risk.
The World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed this week the existence of more than a thousand cases in 29 countries. The first cases of monkeypox were reported in Germany in May and half of the approximately 130 infections confirmed so far are in Berlin. 209 is the number of monkeypox infections in Portugal. Brazil, Peru or other Latin American countries have also registered cases, as well as in the United States.
“Most people think that smallpox is usually transmitted through large droplets but, for some reason, can sometimes be transmitted through small particle aerosols”Mark Challberg, a virologist at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told the newspaper.
Meanwhile, Spain registers most of the infections. The Community of Madrid, for example, has recorded a total of 275 positive cases of monkeypox or monkeypox until this Thursday, which represents 25 more confirmed infections in the last 24 hours.