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First human case of monkeypox found in Massachusetts

First human case of monkeypox found in Massachusetts

1st monkeypox case in US this year reported in Massachusetts

Massachusetts health officials confirmed Wednesday that a resident of the state has tested positive for monkeypox, making it the first case of the rare virus detected in the United States this year.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has confirmed that a patient is infected with measles after traveling to Canada. The department completed initial testing Tuesday and was confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The patient poses no risk to the public, and he is hospitalized and in good condition. The Connecticut Department of Public Health is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control, local health boards, and the patient’s health care providers to identify people who came in contact with the patient while he was infectious.

The latest cases come after four more monkeypox cases were identified in the U.K., bringing the nationwide total to nine since May.

Monkeypox is an illness caused by a virus that comes from infected African monkeys. The first case among humans was recorded in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1970, and since then it has spread to several other nations, mostly in central and western Africa.

Primate-to-human transmission of the virus can occur when an infected animal — such as a rodent or a primate — bites or scratches a person. The CDC said that humans can also be infected when hunting wild animals or preparing bush meat for consumption.

The disease spreads from person to person through large respiratory droplets in the air, but they cannot travel more than a few feet, so two people would need to be in prolonged close contact.

Fever, headache, fatigue, and muscle aches are the most common symptoms.

Very few Americans have been diagnosed with monkeypox.

The CDC reports that monkeypox does not occur naturally in the U.S. Infections are usually identified among people who recently traveled to countries where monkeypox is more commonly found.

After coming into contact with pet prairie dogs, which in turn became infected “after being housed near imported small mammals from Ghana,” the CDC stated.

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