Monkeypox Scare is an Important Bed Bug Reminder for Travelers
Last Thursday, health officials tipped off by an overly-concerned mother that her daughter flying-in from Africa may have picked up a contagious disease, placed a 2-hour quarantine on a Delta plane in Chicago. What was presumed to be a possible case of monkey pox evidenced by a rash on the passenger’s skin turned out to be nothing more than probable bed bug bites.
Monkeypox infection appears as a rash that consists of raised, blister-like bumps, and is usually accompanied by fever, headache and lymph node swelling. Bed bug bites, however, can cause a swollen and reddened area that may or may not be itchy, and without the other symptoms of monkeypox.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, monkeypox is a rare and sometimes fatal disease similar to smallpox that occurs primarily in central and western Africa. Monkeypox is contracted through direct contact with infected animals or their bodily fluids, and can spread among humans through fluids and contaminated clothes or bedding.
In this case, potential bed bug-contaminated clothes in the traveler’s luggage may be the endnote for her quarantine ordeal and one that many other travelers will face this summer.
To help prevent bringing bed bugs as unwanted souvenirs from your next trip, the following biology lesson and tips on bed bug removal from your luggage will keep you and your family bed bug free.
Bed Bug Basic Biology