Health

CDC Quietly Removes Mask Recommendation For Monkeypox Prevention

(Photo by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)

Dylan Housman Healthcare Reporter
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) removed its recommendation to wear masks while traveling to stop monkeypox transmission after just one day.

Monday, the agency updated its travel alert notice to level 2 for monkeypox, encouraging travelers to utilize “enhanced precautions” including avoiding contact with sick people, dead or alive wild animals, eating bushmeat and to wear a mask. Critics quickly pointed out that monkeypox primarily spreads through skin-to-skin contact, not airborne transmission, raising questions about why masks would be a recommended tool used for stopping the spread.

Tuesday, the same travel advisory page on the CDC website no longer included the recommendation to wear masks. There was no mention of why the change was made or formal announcement notifying the public that masking was no longer recommended to travelers.

“Late yesterday CDC removed the mask recommendation from the monkeypox Travel Health Notice because it caused confusion,” a CDC spokesperson told the Daily Caller after multiple requests for clarification. “Travel Health Notices inform travelers and clinicians about current health issues that impact travelers’ health, like disease outbreaks, special events or gatherings, and natural disasters, in destinations around the world.”

“In countries where there is a current monkeypox outbreak, CDC continues to recommend masking in high-risk situations including for household contacts and healthcare workers, or for other people who may be in close contact with a person who has been confirmed with monkeypox.”

They added that the CDC will continue to update its recommendations as it learns more about the current outbreak. On its monkeypox prevention page, the CDC does recommend that healthcare professionals wear personal protective equipment (PPE) when caring for patients with the illness, although it doesn’t specifically mention masks. (RELATED: Outbreak Of Monkeypox Linked To Massive Festival For The ‘Gay Fetish Community’)

Thus far there have been a small number of confirmed monkeypox cases in the United States. Many cases identified across the west have been linked to homosexual intercourse among men. The disease is not typically fatal but can result in rashes across the entire body and other symptoms.