The monkeypox virus can spread through the air, but only if “close, sustained face-to-face contact” is maintained, the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) told reporters on Friday.
With the disease spreading predominantly among gay men, СDС Director Rochelle Walensky, cautioned doctors not to mistake it for more common sexually transmitted diseases.
Monkeypox is similar to human smallpox, and is endemic in parts of West and Central Africa, where it can be caught from infected wild animals. However, outbreaks of the disease have been recorded in 28 World Health Organization (WHO) member states in recent weeks, and as of Wednesday, 1,285 cases have been confirmed in countries where monkeypox is usually not found, per WHO data.
With 45 cases recorded in the US, Walensky said during a briefing that monkeypox does not present the same risk of airborne transmission as Covid-19.