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First Case of Rare Monkeypox Virus Detected in the United States

In a first of first, the very first case of Monkeypox has been detected in Massachusetts. A resident has tested positive which was further confirmed by the state health officials—making it the first case of the rare virus detected in the United States in 2022.

First Case of Monkeypox in the US

According to a release from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the patient is an adult male who recently traveled to Canada. The department completed initial testing Tuesday and was confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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.”

It comes after four more cases of Monkeypox were identified in the U.K recently, bringing its nationwide total to nine since the beginning of May. The resident was admitted to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston 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. Hospital officials said they are unaware of any cases in Canada at this time and do not know where the resident may have contracted the disease.

Rare Diseases Caused by Virus

Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by the Monkeypox virus. The first case among humans was recorded in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1970, and the illness has since spread to several other nations, mostly in central and western Africa. It can transmit from animals to humans when an infected animal—such as a rodent or a primate—bites or scratches a person. The CDC said humans can also be infected when hunting wild animals or preparing bush meat for consumption. Monkeypox can also spread from person to person via large respiratory droplets in the air, but they cannot travel more than a few feet, so two people would need to have prolonged close contact. The most common symptoms are fever, headache, fatigue and muscle aches. Very few cases of monkeypox have been identified among Americans so far.

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