BOSTON (WWLP) – The Massachusetts Department of Public Health confirmed a single case of monkeypox virus infection on Wednesday. This is the first reported case in the United States in 2022.
According to a news release sent to 22News by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the virus was found in a man who recently traveled to Canada. Initial testing was completed late on Tuesday at the State Public Health Laboratory in Jamaica Plain and confirmatory testing was completed Wednesday at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Department of Public Health is working with the CDC, relevant boards of health, and the patient’s health care providers to identify people who have been in contact with the patient while he was contagious. This contact tracing approach is the most appropriate given the nature and transmission of the virus. The case poses no risk to the public, and the individual is hospitalized and in good condition.
Monkeypox is a rare but potentially serious viral illness that typically begins with flu-like symptoms and swelling of the lymph nodes that progresses to a rash on the face and body. Most infections last 2 to 4 weeks. In parts of central and west Africa where monkeypox occurs, people can be exposed through bites or scratches from rodents and small mammals, preparing wild game, or having contact with an infected animal or possibly animal products.
The virus does not spread easily between people. Transmission can occur through contact with body fluids, monkeypox sores, items that have been contaminated with fluids or sores (clothing, bedding, etc.), or through respiratory droplets following prolonged face-to-face contact.
There were two reported cases in the U.S. last year, one in Texas and one in Maryland. The United Kingdom has reported nine cases this month.