United Airlines Warns Employees About Monkeypox

Could we be on the cusp of the next pandemic? United Airlines had advised its employees to educate themselves concerning monkeypox and take steps to avoid its spread. The warning comes as the monkeypox case count continues its rapid rise.

United Airlines Addresses Monkeypox In Memo To Employees

A memo to employees shared with Live and Let’s Fly seeks to inform employees about the rise in monkeypox cases, dispel misconceptions about it, and call upon employees to educate themselves in order to take proper steps to protect themselves against the virus.

The unusual spread of monkeypox around the world since mid-May – from a handful of cases to more than 23,000 today in 80 countries – has driven increased attention from global and national health organizations, and federal and state governments.

Unusual indeed. This had been a virus restricted to Africa until it suddenly began spreading a few months ago.

United warns:

Monkeypox spread is not limited to the LGBTQ + community – anyone can get it.

Indeed, anyone can get it, though World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus recently explained:

“We have an outbreak that has spread around the world rapidly through new modes of transmission, about which we understand too little. Although I am declaring a public health emergency of international concern for the moment, this is an outbreak that is concentrated among men who have sex with men, especially those with multiple sexual partners. That means that this is an outbreak that can be stopped with the right strategies in the right groups. “

Can we not say “gay” any more? Nevertheless, there are currently about 3,000 cases in the USA including two children.

Currently, monkeypox is only thought to be contagious when one is symptomatic.

Symptoms includes:

  • body aches
  • chills
  • fatigue
  • fever
  • headache
  • rash
  • respiratory symptoms
    • cough
    • nasal congestion
    • sore throat
  • swollen lymph nodes

It is generally not deadly, though multiple deaths have been reported in recent days.

United warns:

There are a few important points to remember. Monkeypox is not known to linger in the air and is not transmitted during short periods of shared airspace. It does not spread easily between people; however, anyone in close contact with a person with monkeypox can get it and should take steps to protect themselves.

Might we see a return to flight attendants wearing masks and gloves? Not yet, though United reminds employee:

Our current policies allow employees to wear masks and gloves if they choose to do so.

After two years of COVID-19, would have thought we’d have a new infectious disease to contend with?


Monkeypox is spreading to the point that California, Illinois, and New York have declared public emergencies. United is educating its employees about the virus and warning them to take precautions to prevent its spread. While monkeypox is rarely deadly and very different than COVID-19, it is a disturbing sign that the virus is spreading os fast in nations outside where it is endemic.

image: Nigeria Center for Disease Control / WHO

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