Plane Quarantined in Monkeypox Scare

Passengers on Delta Flight 3163 were quarantined at Midway Airport for over two hours after one passenger was suspected of carrying the monkeypox virus. If the word "monkeypox" makes you think of Outbreak, that's legitimate — but the virus isn't exactly Ebola.

In fact, it's mostly just really gross.

Monkeypox is a rare viral disease that occurs mainly in the rain forest countries of central and west Africa, according to the CDC website. Along with a fever, headaches and muscle aches, monkeypox causes rashlike raised bumps on the body, usually first developing on the face.

There's no vaccine or treatment, which is problematic. On the other hand, it usually goes away in less than a month, and it's fatal in fewer than 10 percent of cases. I like those odds.

Also, um, the infected passenger didn't even have monkeypox. Yeah, the two-hour quarantine ended up being unnecessary, as Chicago Emergency Medical Services workers determined the woman symptoms were not consistent with monkeypox.

So, we're probably all OK — except for the passengers on Flight 3163 who had to endure the mental anguish of sitting on a runway for two hours and wondering if they were slowly dying from a rare virus. At least now we're all more aware of the monkeypox threat, and can continue to maintain a healthy fear of primates.

[Image via Shutterstock]