Monkeypox, an infectious illness typically seen in Africa, was confirmed in the United States on Wednesday after other cases were reported throughout Europe.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) verified today a specific instance of monkeypox virus infection in an adult person who recently visited Canada.
Monkeypox is an uncommon but potentially fatal viral virus that starts with flu-like symptoms and inflammation of the lymph nodes before progressing to a rashes on the body and face. Most infections persist two to four weeks. People can be exposed to monkeypox in regions of central and West Africa by bites or scratches from rodents and small animals, cooking wild food, or keeping in contact with an infected animal or perhaps animal products.
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The disease is not easily transmitted between humans; transmission can happen via direct contact with body fluids, monkeypox lesions, things contaminated with fluids or sores, or respiratory secretions following repeated face-to-face contact.
In 2022, no cases of monkeypox have been recorded in the United States; Texas and Maryland both reported a case in 2021 in persons who had just been to Nigeria. The United Kingdom has discovered 9 instances of monkeypox since early May 2022, with the first patient having just gone to Nigeria. None of the other cases mentioned any recent travel.
According to UK health experts, the most recent instances in the UK are among males who have intercourse with men.
Based on the results of the Massachusetts case and subsequent instances in the UK, physicians should evaluate monkeypox in persons who appear with the otherwise inexplicable rash and 1) have traveled in the last 30 days.
Suspected instances may start with common cold symptoms and develop to lesions that originate in one location and spread to other sections of the body. The illness might be mistaken for a sexually transmitted condition such as syphilis or herpes, or for varicella zoster virus.