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1st monkeypox case in US this year reported in Massachusetts, health officials confirm

A Massachusetts resident tested positive for smallpox, health officials confirmed on Wednesday, making it the first case of the rare virus to be 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 the first tests 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 being treated and is in good condition,” the MDPH said in a press release. “DPH works closely with the CDC, relevant local health councils and patient healthcare providers to identify individuals who may have been in contact with the patient while he or she was infectious.”

It follows four more smallpox cases of monkeys recently found in the UK, bringing the total to nine nationwide since early May.

Monkey pox is a rare disease caused by the monkey pox virus. The first human case was reported in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1970, and since then the disease has spread to many other nations, 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 when hunting wild animals or preparing meat from bushes for consumption.

The disease can also be transmitted from person to person through large respiratory droplets in the air, but they can not 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 smallpox have been reported among Americans.

According to the CDC, the disease does not occur naturally in the US Infections are usually found in people who have recently traveled to countries where monkey pox is more common.

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

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

Since then, only two other cases have been identified in the US, both of which are related to 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 identified in a Maryland resident who had also traveled to Nigeria.

ABC News’ William Gretsky contributed to this report.

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1st monkeypox case in US this year reported in Massachusetts, health officials confirm Source link 1st monkeypox case in US this year reported in Massachusetts, health officials confirm

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