CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – A rare but dangerous infection has been reported in a Massachusetts resident. 22News is working for you with a message from the experts and everything we know so far about the Monkeypox case.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health confirmed a single case of Monkeypox, the first reported case in the United States in 2022. The virus was found in a man who recently traveled to Canada.
Since the beginning of May, Monkeypox has also been identified in the United Kingdom, Spain, and Portugal. The U.K. has detected nine cases so far and 20 have been found in Portugal. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is tracking these clusters however, it’s not clear how they were exposed but cases include individuals who self-identify as men who had sex with men.
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.
“Many of these global reports of monkeypox cases are occurring within sexual networks. However, healthcare providers should be alert to any rash that has features typical of monkeypox. We’re asking the public to contact their healthcare provider if they have a new rash and are concerned about monkeypox,” said Inger Damon, MD, PhD, a poxvirus expert with more than 20 years’ experience and Director of CDC’s Division of High-Consequence Pathogens and Pathology, where the agency’s poxvirus research is based.
Healthcare providers are being informed to be alert for patients who have a rash consistent with Monkeypox that includes swollen lymph nodes, fever, malaise, headache, sometimes sore throat, and cough.
- If healthcare providers identify patients with a rash that looks like monkeypox, consider monkeypox, regardless of whether the patient has a travel history to central or west African countries.
- Do not limit concerns to men who report having sex with other men. Those who have any sort of close personal contact with people with monkeypox could potentially also be at risk for the disease.
- Some patients have had genital lesions and the rash may be hard to distinguish from syphilis, herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection, chancroid, varicella zoster, and other more common infections.
- Isolate any patients suspected of having monkeypox in a negative pressure room, and ensure staff understand the importance of wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and that they wear it each time they are near suspected cases.
- Consult the state health department or CDC’s monkeypox call center through the CDC Emergency Operations Center (770-488-7100) as soon as monkeypox is suspected.
There were two reported cases in the U.S. last year, one in Texas and one in Maryland. If you have any unusual rashes or lesions, contact your healthcare provider.