The first monkeypox case in the United States this year has been detected in Massachusetts, health officials confirmed Wednesday.
The patient, an adult male who recently traveled to Canada, was identified in a release from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed the results of the department’s initial testing.
“The case poses no risk to the public, and the individual is hospitalized and in good condition,” MDPH stated in a press release. “DPH is working closely with the CDC, relevant local boards of health, and the patient’s health care providers to identify individuals who may have been in contact with the patient while he was infectious.”
There have been four more monkeypox cases identified in the U.K. since the beginning of May, bringing the total to nine nationwide.
At Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, the resident was admitted on May 12, and “during the course of their admission they were identified as a possible monkeypox suspect,” Dr. Erica Shenoy, associate chief of the hospital’s infection control unit, told reporters during a briefing Wednesday.
Finding out there were monkeypox cases in the UK encouraged doctors to “think more broadly about the patient’s diagnosis,” Shenoy said.
The hospital officials said they aren’t aware of any cases in Canada at the moment and don’t know where the resident may have contracted the disease.
As a rare disease, monkeypox is brought on by the monkeypox virus.
In 1970, the first case of the illness was recorded in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The disease has since spread to other nations, mainly in central and western Africa.
Infected animals — such as rodents or primates — can transmit the disease by biting or scratching human skin.
When humans hunt wild animals or prepare bush meat for consumption, they may also become infected.
In addition to large respiratory droplets in the air, the disease can also spread from person to person with long-term close contact. However, this does not occur very often.
Fever, headaches, fatigue, and muscle aches are the most common symptoms.
CDC reports that monkeypox does not occur naturally in the United States.
Usually, monkeypox infections are identified in people who have recently traveled to monkeypox-affected countries.
A Texas resident who had recently returned from Nigeria was confirmed to have the disease in July 2021, and a Maryland resident who had also traveled to Nigeria was confirmed to have the disease in November 2021.