Monkeypox Update: Bans, Vaccinations

June 11, 2003 — Rodents, including prairie dogs, have been banned as human monkeypox cases climb to 54. Public health officials are also preparing to vaccinate a “limited number” of people against smallpox.

“Don’t, don’t release these sick animals into the wild,” CDC Deputy Director David Fleming, today said at a press conference. “We want to avoid introducing monkeypox into natural wildlife.”

Wisconsin has reported 20 cases of monkeypox. Indiana has 23 and Illinois has 10, one of which occurred in wholesale jerseys. About 10 of them have been hospitalized, Fleming reported.

The ban takes effect immediately

In order to control the epidemic, the following measures are effective Fleming Say it now:

  • The importation of rodents from Africa is prohibited. Rodents from Africa are thought to be the reason monkeypox arrived in the U.S.
  • The sale or transportation of these rodents in the U.S. is prohibited
  • The sale or movement of prairie dogs is prohibited between states or across state borders Inside.

” Of course, if someone needs to bring a sick groundhog Go to the vet and they can do it,” he said. “It’s about groundhog business.”

CDC has been working with public health officials at the state and local levels Conduct an outbreak investigation, Fleming said. In addition, the CDC has deployed 11 epidemiologists to the relevant states.

Limited Smallpox Vaccination

Because monkeypox is similar to smallpox, CDC Officials say the smallpox vaccine could help prevent monkeypox in humans. “Smallpox is about 85 percent effective at preventing monkeypox in humans,” Fleming said.

Vaccination will be ‘very targeted and focused’ – only available in affected areas and only to public health investigators Fleming, a health care worker, may be treating people hospitalized with monkeypox, family members of patients with monkeypox, and people who have had contact with sick marmots or other animals confirmed to have monkeypox.

“We recommend vaccination within four days of exposure, but it can be given within two weeks of exposure,” he said.

Animal, Human Symptoms

People who may have a groundhog or other small rodent as a pet in their home — Who got them since April 15th – should watch for signs of monkeypox in animals:

  • Bleeding eyes
  • Respiratory problems
  • Rash — “When they pet the animal, they should be able to feel the bump,” Fleming said.

“If you think the animal is infected, please contact your veterinarian to ensure the animal is properly diagnosis,” he said. “Contact your veterinarian beforehand to ensure steps are taken to avoid exposure to the virus.”

Anyone who has been in contact with a sick animal if they or a family member develops a fever, Symptoms such as chills, muscle aches, or a rash should immediately contact your doctor.


Infected Gambian rat has been traced to Dirk In Saskatchewan, animal importers get them from Africa. CDC officials are working with public health officials in Texas and other states to trace the animals and others who may have come into contact with them and send them across the country.

“Monkeypox is easily spread from animal to animal through direct contact,” Fleming said. “We’re taking swift action to prevent this from spreading.”

So far, public health officials have found only one other animal The species — the rabbit — got sick from being infected with a sick marmot, he said. There have been reports of gerbils touching sick marmots at pet stores. “We’re tracking that,” Fleming said.

Animals diagnosed with monkeypox will be euthanized, he added.

Global reach

“We live in an increasingly globalized, ‘ said Fleming. West Nile virus, SARS – “These are all related to globalization, so we should expect these to happen more frequently.”

Although There have been some deaths from monkeypox in Africa, but it is unlikely to happen in the United States, he said. “There are many reasons – improving medical care, nutrition. But we do need to be prepared, monkeypox is a potentially deadly disease; that’s why we recommend vaccinating people who may have been exposed.”


In the United States, there is no human-to-human transmission. That’s unlikely to happen, he said. “Monkeypox is a potentially transmissible disease, but at a fairly low level. It’s not the same problem as SARS.”

Source: CDC Deputy Director David Fleming.