1st monkeypox case in US this year reported in Massachusetts

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Health officials confirmed Wednesday that a Massachusetts resident has tested positive for monkeypox, the first case of the rare virus in the United States this year.

According to a release from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the patient is an adult male who had recently traveled to Canada. The department completed preliminary testing on Tuesday and was confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“There is no risk to the public in this case, and the individual is hospitalized and in good condition,” MDPH said in a news release. “DPH is working closely with the CDC, relevant local health boards, and the patient’s healthcare provider to determine if the patient is contagious. Individuals who may have had contact with the patient during sex.”

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This comes after four more cases of monkeypox were recently detected in the UK, bringing the national total to nine since early May.

Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by the monkeypox virus. The first human case was recorded in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1970, and the disease has since spread to several other countries, mainly in central and western Africa.

It can spread from animals to humans when an infected animal, such as a rodent or primate, bites or scratches a person. Humans can also become infected while hunting wild animals or preparing to eat bushmeat, the CDC said.

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The disease can also spread from person to person through large respiratory droplets in the air, but they cannot travel more than a few feet and require prolonged close contact between two people.

The most common symptoms are fever, headache, fatigue and muscle aches.

Few cases of monkeypox have been found in the United States.

According to the CDC, the disease does not occur naturally in the United States. Infections are usually found in people who have recently traveled to countries where monkeypox is more common.

In 2003, six US states reported 47 confirmed and probable cases, the first human cases reported outside of Africa.

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The CDC said all infections occurred after contact with pet prairie dogs, which were “infected after being housed near small mammals imported from Ghana.”

Since then, only two other travel-related cases have been identified in the United States.

In July 2021, one case was confirmed in a Texas resident who had recently returned from Nigeria, and another in November 2021 in a Maryland resident who had also traveled to Nigeria.

ABC News’ William Gretsky contributed to this report.

First U.S. case of monkeypox reported this year in Massachusetts originally appeared in abcnews.go.com

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