A Massachusetts man has tested positive for the rare disease monkeypox, the first known case in the United States this year, according to state public health officials.
The individual, who had recently traveled to Canada, does not pose a threat to the general population, officials said.
“The case poses no risk to the public, and the individual is hospitalized and in good condition,” the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) said Wednesday.
The case was tested Tuesday at a state laboratory and then confirmed Wednesday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“DPH is working closely with the CDC, relevant local health boards and the patient’s health care providers to identify people who may have come into contact with the patient while he was infectious,” added the public health agency.
The news follows news that nine cases of the rare but potentially serious virus have been detected in the UK this month.
Last year, there were only two cases discovered in the United States, in Texas and Maryland, according to the DPH.
The first human case of monkeypox was discovered in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the disease does not spread easily between humans unless they have been in contact with each other’s bodily fluids, contaminated objects or prolonged face-to-face contact. Contact.
People usually get monkeypox if they have been bitten or scratched by rodents or small mammals, come into contact with an infected animal, or prepare wild game.
The illness begins with patients suffering from a flu-like illness and can involve swollen lymph nodes and rashes covering the face and body, which usually last two to four weeks.
Authorities have been tracking a small outbreak of monkeypox in Europe in recent weeks.
So far, 36 cases have emerged in England, Portugal and Spain. The cluster surprised medical authorities as the disease is commonly present in Central and West African countries.
“This [outbreak] is rare and unusual,” Susan Hopkins, chief medical adviser to Britain’s Health Security Agency, said on Monday. “Exactly where and how they [people] contracted their infections is under urgent investigation.
British officials said the cluster of cases in the country appear to be concentrated among men who said they had sex with other men.
The Independent Gt