BOSTON (WWLP) – The Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced Thursday an additional 41 cases of monkeypox this week, which now brings the total number of cases to 243 in the state since the first case on May 18.

The 41 new cases had their diagnoses between August 11 and August 17. The Massachusetts DPH is working with local health officials, the patients, and healthcare providers to identify individuals who may have been in contact with the patients while they were infectious. Individuals with monkeypox are advised to isolate and avoid contact with others until they are no longer infectious.

Monkeypox vaccines are available across the state at 14 health care providers and locations. Due to the limited availability of the vaccine, only people that meet the CDC’s eligibility criteria can receive a dose. If you think you qualify to receive the vaccine, you are encouraged to ask your health care provider. The state has administered 12,205 doses of the JYNNEOS vaccine, as of August 17.

The CDC indicates there have now been 13,517 cases of monkeypox virus this year in the United States. Wyoming is the only state in the United States with no cases reported.

Monkeypox was declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the World Health Organization on July 23 and on August 4, President Biden declared the virus a national health emergency.

Gay and bisexual men make up a significant amount of the cases however the risk is not limited to the LGBTQ+ community.

  • Monkeypox can spread through:
    • Direct skin-to-skin contact with rash lesions. Sexual/intimate contact, including kissing while a person is infected.
    • Living in a house and sharing a bed with someone. Sharing towels or unwashed clothing.
    • Respiratory secretions through face-to-face interactions (the type that mainly happen when living with someone or caring for someone who has monkeypox)
  • Monkeypox does not spread through:
    • Casual conversations. Walking by someone with monkeypox in a grocery store, for instance. Touching items like doorknobs.