First Monkeypox Case Confirmed in US Military Service Member: Spokesperson

A U.S. military member based in Germany has been identified as the Armed Forces’ first known case of monkeypox, according to a spokesperson.

Captain William Speaks, a spokesperson for European Command, told CNN that the active-duty service member at a base in Stuttgart “recently tested positive for monkeypox,” a virus related to smallpox that has been found in several European countries, Canada, Australia, the United States, and elsewhere.

“The individual was seen and treated at the Stuttgart Army Health clinic and is currently in isolation recovering in their quarters off-base,” Speaks said.

Authorities have determined that the single case presents a “very low” risk to the general population, Speaks said. “As a precautionary measure,” he added, “contact tracing is being done for clinic staff who interacted with the patient. The case in Stuttgart is of the West African strain, which is generally mild and human-to-human transmission is limited.”

Monkeypox, which is endemic to several African nations, primarily spreads via an infected individual’s bodily fluids or pox-like lesions. It can also spread via contaminated materials including bedding, clothing, and linens, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which recently raised its travel alert over the virus.

As of Thursday, the CDC has reported 45 confirmed or probable cases in 15 states and Washington, D.C., over the past several months. Worldwide, more than 1,350 confirmed or probable cases have been found in about three dozen countries, with most occurring in the United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, Germany, and Canada, according to the CDC.

Unlike COVID-19 or measles, there is no evidence that monkeypox can spread through small virus particles that stay in the air, also known as “airborne transmission,” according to guidance posted Thursday.

Since monkeypox can spread via saliva or respiratory secretions, the CDC says it “recommends that people infected with monkeypox wear a mask if they must be around others in their homes if close, face-to-face contact is likely.”

Earlier this week, the CDC had advised that travelers wear masks to mitigate the spread of monkeypox. However, several days later, the agency removed that statement from its website.

A spokesperson for the CDC told The Epoch Times that the advisory on masks was removed because it caused confusion, without providing more details.

Last month, both CDC and World Health Organization officials issued specific warnings to homosexual males about the potential for spreading monkeypox. WHO officials early on signaled that an initial outbreak may have occurred at two rave-like parties in Belgium and Spain.

From The Epoch Times