Rare case of monkeypox identified in Massachusetts after outbreak in Europe

The first case of monkeypox in the US this year was reported in Massachusetts after small outbreaks of the viral disease were reported in several European countries.

A man who recently traveled to Canada was hospitalized with a viral infection at Massachusetts General Hospital. Tests completed on Tuesday confirmed the man was infected with monkeypox, a rare but potentially serious viral disease that causes flu-like symptoms and swelling of the lymph nodes before progressing to a widespread rash on the face and body, according to the Health Ministry Massachusetts

“DPH is working closely with the CDC, relevant local health authorities and the patient’s healthcare providers to identify individuals who may have come into contact with the patient while he was infectious. This contact tracing approach is the most appropriate given the way the virus is transmitted,” the agency said. “The case poses no risk to the public and the individual is hospitalized and in good condition.”

Monkeypox is a disease native to parts of central and western Africa, where people can be exposed to the virus through animal bites or scratches. The virus doesn’t spread easily between people, but transmission can occur through contact with bodily fluids, monkeypox wounds, or through respiratory droplets after prolonged personal contact, officials said.

This was the first case of monkeypox identified in the United States in 2022. Two previous cases were reported last year in Texas and Maryland in patients who had each traveled to Nigeria.

There were nine reported cases of monkeypox in the UK, which UK health officials say is mainly found in men who have sex with other men. A total of 68 cases have been reported in Europe, including England, Spain and Portugal. NPR reports.

“That [outbreak] is rare and unusual,” said Susan Hopkins, the UK’s chief medical adviser, in a Explanation Monday.

“Where exactly and how they [the people] acquired their infections is under urgent investigation,” the agency said.

Officials in the UK are at a loss because the virus appears to be spreading among people who have not been in contact with someone who has traveled to Africa.

“It’s even more bizarre to find cases that appear to have acquired the infection through sexual contact,” UKHSA epidemiologist Mateo Prochazka said in a tweet. “This is a novel transmission route that will have implications for outbreak response and control.”

https://www.theblaze.com/news/rare-monkeypox-case-identified-in-massachusetts-after-european-outbreak Rare case of monkeypox identified in Massachusetts after outbreak in Europe

Laura Coffey

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