How Is Monkeypox Affecting US Travel?
The World Health Organization has declared Monkeypox a global emergency as cases increase worldwide. There are currently 6,300 known cases in the United States, with the number growing daily.
So, how does this affect US travel?
Cases among tourists are uncommon, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, because the disease is spreading, it’s a good idea to take precautions when traveling.
What Exactly Is Monkeypox, and How Is It Transmitted?
According to WHO, people contract Monkeypox through “close contact” with an infected person or animal. Contact with infected material might also result in transmission.
The Monkeypox virus spreads from person to person by close contact with lesions, body fluid, respiratory droplets, and contaminated items such as bedding.
The Biden administration is boosting testing and immunizations in the United States as case numbers rise. Still, deaths have been documented exclusively in Africa, where a more severe strain of the virus is spreading.
Should Travelers Be Concerned About Monkeypox?
In late May, the CDC issued a Level 2 travel health notification, encouraging travelers to consider extra precautions, such as washing their hands frequently and avoiding touching their faces.
There is a chance of transmission through “prolonged close physical contact,” such as between family members in the same household or through sexual activity. Still, there is a very minimal risk of transfer through casual contact.
The majority of Monkeypox cases discovered in places such as Western Europe, the United States, and Canada have happened among men who have sex with men; therefore, travelers should be cautious if they are having sexual contact with someone overseas.
How to Prevent Yourself From Monkeypox While Traveling?
- Avoid close contact: Monkeypox is not airborne and is considered to be transmitted by direct touch with someone infected with the virus. Do not hug, kiss, or touch anybody with a rash, skin, or genital lesions. Avoid sharing silverware, glasses, and a sick person’s clothes or bedding.
- Hand washing: Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently with soap and water. Keep hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol on hand as well.
- Avoid animals: When traveling, avoid touching any living or dead wild animals, such as rodents and primates, such as monkeys or apes. Do not consume meat or utilize goods obtained from wild animals, such as creams or lotions.
- Keep an eye out for symptoms: If you traveled and got a fever or unexplained rashes or skin lesions, contact your doctor immediately. Avoid contact with people and refrain from using public transportation until you have received confirmation from a healthcare expert.
Is It Necessary to Get Vaccinated for Monkeypox?
The US government said in June that 56,000 doses of Monkeypox vaccine would be given nationwide immediately, with a further several million expected in the coming months.
JYNNEOS is a vaccine that the FDA has approved. It can help lower the risk of Monkeypox infections if given within 4 days of exposure, and it can help reduce the risk of serious illness if given within 14 days of exposure. Because vaccination supplies are limited, eligibility is limited to those at greatest risk of exposure, and you must be 18 or older to receive the vaccine.
Although the CDC has not yet issued any official recommendations, in the majority of states, immigrants of any immigration status can receive the vaccine free of charge.
Additionally, the White House declared that it would expand access to Monkeypox testing nationwide, beginning with 78 testing locations spread across 48 states.
Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) Insurance
Many people are rekindling their love of travel and are planning holidays that will take them to new states and countries.
However, as a result of the recent pandemics and the outbreak of the MonkeyPox virus, numerous unforeseen scenarios can develop, such as illness, emergency, moving jobs and losing vacation time, or simply changing your mind.
But what happens if you have already booked your flight, hotel, or other events and need to cancel, and you are unable to obtain a refund, or rescheduling is not now an option?
How will you repay financial losses incurred as a result of travel deposits and other goods not covered by a basic trip insurance policy?
Cancel for Any Reason Insurance (CFAR) is the only solution to your problem. This insurance supplements the benefits of basic trip cancellation insurance; however, the two are not the same.
Trip cancellation insurance protects against particular, unforeseeable events such as injuries or illnesses, natural catastrophes, lost passports, and other specified concerns beyond the insured’s control. However, only CFAR allows you to cancel your vacation arrangements and recuperate prepaid travel fees that would have been nonrefundable otherwise.
By including CFAR insurance with your trip insurance, you provide yourself with the freedom and peace of mind that comes from knowing you can cancel your plans for any reason (even if you don’t feel like going) and still recoup financial expenses.
CFAR is an absolute necessity now. As travel regulations continue to evolve because of the pandemic and the outbreak of the MonkeyPox virus, travelers have to face the reality that all travel is uncertain right now.
Due to changing restrictions, trips and vacations are more likely to be canceled or rescheduled. To be as covered as possible, travelers should consider purchasing Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) coverage.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is it possible to contract Monkeypox when traveling?
Monkeypox is only transmitted through close skin-to-skin contact, so travelers need not be too concerned. People should not be worried about contracting the virus unless they intend to engage in high-risk activities while traveling.
- How concerned should I be about hotels and other forms of lodging?
Bed linens and related items are not expected to represent a significant risk of transmission as long as the place follows periodic washing at regular intervals using established disinfection techniques.
- Is it possible for the virus to spread in a swimming pool or water park?
CDC advised that if you have an open wound, you should avoid public pools and water parks at all times.
However, virus levels are diluted in chlorinated bodies of water, and the likelihood of Monkeypox transmission is reduced.
Towel sharing at a pool poses the same risk as shared linens; thus, people should avoid using an unknown person’s towel.
- Do I need to wear a mask to protect myself from Monkeypox?
Not unless you have had prolonged, close contact with an infected person.
According to CDC recommendations, the virus can be transmitted during prolonged, face-to-face contact, including kissing and hugging. Monkeypox, unlike COVID, is not transmitted through the air.
- Do I need to get vaccinated against Monkeypox?
There is currently no widespread recommendation for the general public to get immunized against Monkeypox.
Given the current vaccine availability and transmission routes, the CDC recommends that only high-risk persons get vaccinated against Monkeypox.
In conclusion, with the increasing cases of Monkeypox worldwide, people traveling to the US should take precautions while traveling. If you’re planning to travel internationally, do not forget to check the website of Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to learn more about the MonkeyPox virus before you plan your travel.