Tuesday, December 06, 2022

US reports first case of monkeypox in Massachusetts

NEW YORK ( Associated Press) — Massachusetts on Wednesday reported a rare case of monkeypox in a man who recently traveled to Canada, and health officials are reviewing whether it is linked to small outbreaks in Europe.

Monkeypox is usually confined to Africa, and rare cases in the United States and other countries are often related to travel to that continent. A small number of confirmed or suspected cases have been reported this month in Britain, Portugal and Spain.

US health officials said they are in contact with officials in Britain and Canada as part of the investigation. The US case poses no risk to the public, and the Massachusetts resident is hospitalized but in good condition, officials added.

It is the first case detected in the United States this year. Last year, Texas and Maryland each reported one case in people who traveled to Nigeria.

Monkeypox usually begins with a flu-like illness and swollen lymph nodes, followed by rashes on the face and body. In Africa, people have been infected through the bites of rodents or small animals, and it does not usually spread easily from person to person.

However, researchers in Europe said most cases have been in gay or bisexual men, and authorities are looking into the possibility that some infections may have spread through close contact during sex.

Monkeypox belongs to the same family of viruses as chickenpox. Most people recover from monkeypox within weeks, but the disease is fatal for up to one in 10 people, according to the World Health Organization.

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