On August 1, the CDC issued new guidelines for the growing monkeypox epidemic. The guidelines recommend that persons with monkeypox should isolate at home throughout the duration of the illness, with data showing that monkeypox can be spread from the appearance of first symptoms all the way until symptoms have resolved. The duration of the illness could last from two to four weeks. The guidelines also recommend that, while in public, those with monkeypox avoid close contact with others, wear a mask and cover any lesions with clothing or bandages. Individuals with monkeypox should also avoid sharing items such as clothing or food utensils with others.
So far, direct skin-to-skin contact has been the predominant form of transmission for the global outbreak. The latest CDC data shows a total of 7,102 confirmed monkeypox cases in the United States. The guidance provided by CDC notes that these recommendations may change as scientists learn more about the ongoing outbreak. APHA will continue to monitor the situation and advocate for policies that could mitigate the outbreak, such as increased funding for epidemiologic response activities and expanded family and medical leave to allow individuals with monkeypox to remain home for the duration of their illness. Advocates can send a message to their members of Congress in support of legislation to strengthen our nation’s public health infrastructure and enhance our ability to respond to new and existing outbreaks like COVID-19 and monkeypox.