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Will World Health Organization’s Declaration on Monkeypox Impede Travel?

On Saturday, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared monkeypox a public health emergency of international concern, immediately stirring memories of early 2020 when the coronavirus began to engulf the world and became a global pandemic.

Among the many fears and questions now is, will the severity of monkeypox impede travel as it did two-and-a-half years ago when COVIV-19 brought the entire industry to its knees?

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At this time, it’s a difficult question to answer. The impact probably lies somewhere between the public’s perception of dealing with yet another virus. Are they tired of being cooped up and living by protocols and restrictions, which the pent-up demand for travel right now seems to suggest is the biggest answer? Or do they respect the opinions of a group of worldwide doctors and immunologists?

“For most travelers, this should not cause alarm, but it is worth understanding the risk numbers in the travel destination,” Dr. Jenny Yu from Healthline told The Points Guy. “As this is a re-emerging disease, not all healthcare providers are familiar with diagnosis and treatment, which may delay diagnosis, something to consider when traveling. People should take the necessary precautions but should not panic from a travel standpoint.”

Monkeypox is considered contagious, meaning that anyone with the virus should avoid travel and the potential to spread it to others.

Dr. Jake Deutsch, a former emergency room physician at Mt. Sinai Hospital who now runs a private practice focused on men’s health in New York, told The Points Guy that travel “shouldn’t be an issue unless you’re engaging in higher risk behavior while in countries with high infection rates.”

So far there are less than 20,000 cases of monkeypox have been reported worldwide, about 3,000 of them in the United States. According to the Associated Press, two children in the U.S. have now been diagnosed with monkeypox.


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