ATLANTA – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention raised its travel alert to Level 2 on Monday after monkeypox cases hit a new milestone, reaching 1,000 confirmed cases worldwide.
A Level 2 alert advises those traveling to “practice enhanced precautions” and is the second-highest alert level. Travelers are advised to avoid close contact with sick people, including those with skin lesions, the CDC said in the alert.
People should also wear a mask while traveling, the CDC said.
On Wednesday, the UK Health Security Agency will designate monkeypox as a “notifiable disease.”
Cases have been reported worldwide, including in North America, South America, Europe and Asia. The CDC said that many people with the virus had not traveled recently to countries like Nigeria or the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where monkeypox usually occurs.
According to The Associated Press, a recent genetic analysis of monkeypox cases suggests two distinct strains in the U.S.
The same strain caused many U.S. cases as recent cases in Europe, but a few samples show a different strain, federal health officials said on Friday.
Last year, each strain had been seen in U.S. cases before the recent international outbreak was identified.
The CDC said it is trying to increase its work on finding infections, and it’s likely more cases will be reported.
It also said in Monday’s announcement that the risk to the general public continues to remain low.