Massachusetts identifies first US case of monkeypox infection in 2022

An electron microscope (EM) image shows oval-shaped mature monkeypox virus particles as well as crescents and spherical particles of immature virions, obtained from a clinical sample of human skin associated with the prairie dog outbreak from 2003 in this undated image obtained by Reuters on May 18, 2022. Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regnery/CDC/Handout via REUTERS

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May 18 (Reuters) – The Massachusetts Department of Public Health said on Wednesday it had confirmed a single case of monkeypox virus infection in a man who had recently traveled to Canada.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said their labs confirmed the infection was monkeypox on Wednesday afternoon.

The state agency said it was working with the CDC and relevant local health boards to conduct contact tracing, adding that “the case poses no risk to the public and the individual is hospitalized and in good condition”.

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The Public Health Agency of Canada issued a statement late Wednesday saying it was aware of monkeypox cases in Europe and was closely monitoring the current situation, adding that no cases had been reported at this time.

Monkeypox, which occurs mainly in West and Central Africa, is a rare viral infection similar to human smallpox, although milder. It was first recorded in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the 1970s. The number of cases in West Africa has increased over the past decade.

Symptoms include fever, headache, and rash starting on the face and spreading to the rest of the body.

The Massachusetts agency said the virus does not spread easily between people, but transmission can occur through contact with bodily fluids, monkeypox sores, items such as bedding or clothing that have been contaminated by fluids or wounds, or by respiratory droplets after prolonged face-to-face contact. – facial contact.

He said no cases of monkeypox had been identified previously in the United States this year. Texas and Maryland each reported one case in 2021 in people who had recently traveled to Nigeria.

The CDC also said it was tracking several clusters of monkeypox reported in several countries, including Portugal, Spain and the UK, over the past two weeks.

A handful of monkeypox cases have recently been reported or are suspected in the UK, Portugal and Spain.

Earlier on Wednesday, Portuguese authorities said they had identified five cases of infection and Spanish health services said they were testing 23 potential cases after Britain put Europe on high alert for the virus.

European health authorities have been monitoring any outbreak of the disease since Britain reported its first case on May 7 and has found six more in the country since then.

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Reporting by Deena Beasley in Los Angeles; additional reporting by Steve Scherer in Ottawa and Juby Babu in Bengaluru

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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