1st case of monkeypox in the United States this year reported in Massachusetts


It comes after nine cases of monkeypox were detected in the UK this month.

A Massachusetts resident has tested positive for monkeypox, health officials confirmed Wednesday, making it the first case of the rare virus detected in the United States this year.

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

“The case poses no risk to the public, and the individual is hospitalized and in good condition,” the MDPH said in a statement. “DPH is working closely with the CDC, relevant local health boards, and the patient’s healthcare providers to identify people who may have come into contact with the patient while he was infectious.”

It comes after four more cases of monkeypox were recently identified in the UK, bringing the national total to nine since the start of May.

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

It can be transmitted from animals to humans when an infected animal – such as a rodent or primate – bites or scratches a person. The CDC said humans can also become infected while hunting wildlife or preparing bushmeat for consumption.

The disease can also spread from person to person via large respiratory droplets in the air, but they cannot travel more than a few feet, so two people should have prolonged close contact.

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

Very few cases of monkeypox have been identified among Americans.

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

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

All of the infections occurred after coming into contact with prairie dogs, which in turn became infected “after being housed near small mammals imported from Ghana,” the CDC said.

Since then, only two other cases have been detected in the United States, both associated with travel.

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

ABC News’ William Gretsky contributed to this report.


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