Monkeypox confirmed in Massachusetts; first US case identified in 2022

BOSTON – Massachusetts health officials announced Wednesday they have confirmed a case of monkeypox, the first case of the rare virus identified in the United States in 2022.

The Department of Public Health said the infection was found in an adult male who recently traveled to Canada. They say this case poses no risk to the general public.

The man, a Massachusetts resident, has been hospitalized at Massachusetts General Hospital since May 12. He is in isolation at the hospital and is in stable condition. The hospital said that because the disease is so rare, it took six days to diagnose it with the help of the CDC.

DPH is working to identify people who may have been in contact with the man while he was infectious.

Doctors at Mass. General Hospital said the patient had traveled to Canada but had no history of travel to areas with high levels of monkeypox.

DPH said monkeypox can resemble early flu-like symptoms and develop into lesions that spread throughout the body. Most infections last two to four weeks. However, health officials said monkeypox does not spread easily and the reason they are paying so much attention to this case is that it was not transmitted through contact with an animal or through travel with cases. high levels of monkeypox, but through person-to-person contact. .

“Really right now, person-to-person transmission has really happened through close contact, broadly speaking. And that’s close contact through respiratory droplets and prolonged face-to-face contact, as well as direct contact to through lesions or in direct contact through contaminated bedding or, more or less, clothing contaminated with lesions,” said Dr. Sarimer Sánchez, director of the Boston Public Health Commission’s Office of Infectious Diseases.

The CDC is tracking multiple clusters of monkeypox that have been reported in the last two weeks in Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom. These countries do not normally report monkeypox.

According to the CDC, “it is not clear how people in these groups were exposed to monkeypox, but the cases include people who identify themselves as men who have sex with men.”

The United States identified two cases of monkeypox in Texas and Maryland in 2021 from people who had recently traveled to Nigeria.

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