CDC urges clinicians to look for wide range of monkeypox symptoms

The CDC is encouraging clinicians to look out for a broad range of symptoms that might be signs of a monkeypox infection as the national case tally grows, Politico reported June 10. 

At present, the CDC's website lists fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, exhaustion and rashes or lesions as key monkeypox symptoms. Some people are also experiencing proctitis, a painful inflammation of the rectum lining, according to Jennifer McQuiston, incident manager and deputy director of the CDC's division of high consequence pathogens and pathology.

"We are definitely working to expand information to clinicians, so that they know if additional symptoms should trigger thoughts of monkeypox," she said during a June 10 media briefing.

The agency also clarified that monkeypox cannot be spread via airborne transmission like SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The clarification came after the CDC issued and then a week later retracted a recommendation this week that travelers wear masks as a precaution against monkeypox. The virus can be spread via saliva droplets or respiratory secretions at close range but not by aerosols that can travel long distances in the air, the agency said. 

The CDC has reported 49 monkeypox cases in 14 states and the District of Columbia, as of June 10. Globally, more than 1,000 people have been affected in the outbreak.

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