First US monkeypox case confirmed in Massachusetts

The first human case of monkeypox has been found in the state of Massachusetts (Picture: Getty Images)

The first human case of monkeypox in the US this year was confirmed in Massachusetts on Wednesday.

It was found in an adult male who recently visited Canada, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, which finished initial testing on Tuesday. The case has been confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

‘The case poses no risk to the public, and the individual is hospitalized and in good condition,’ stated the state health department.

‘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.’

It comes the same day that , bringing the country’s total to nine, according to the UK Health Security Agency (HSA). The outbreak of the rare disease has , with 15 and eight cases confirmed, respectively, Iberian health officials said.

Also on Wednesday, CDC officials said that they are monitoring up to six possible monkeypox cases in people who traveled into the US on a plane carrying an infected passenger.

Monkeypox, caused by a virus of the same name, was first detected in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where it spread to central and western African countries. It can be transmitted when an infected animal such as a rodent or primate bites or scratches a human.

The disease travels in large airborne respiratory droplets that cannot move more than a few feet, meaning it is only passed along with prolonged close contact.

Symptoms include lesions and rashes on the face or genitals, muscle aches, fever, headache, fatigue and chills.

Individuals who contracted the virus in Europe reportedly have skin lesions and are in stable condition.

Monkeypox does not naturally occur in the US and most infections have been found in people coming back from countries where it is more common, according to the CDC.

Recent cases include a Maryland resident in November 2021 who returned from Nigeria and a Texas resident in July 2021 who also went there.

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