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Monkeypox virus case confirmed in Massachusetts

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A thermal head is used by a health officer to identify a monkeypoxvirus in arriving passengers at Soekarnohatta International Airport, Tangerang near Jakarta on May 15, 2019.

Jepayona Delita – Future Publishing | Future Publishing | Getty Images

On Wednesday night, U.S. Health officials reported a new case of monkeypox in Massachusetts. It was the first report from the country this year. 

Massachusetts Health officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have begun an investigation into a suspected case. It was identified by a male who had recently visited Canada. 

The patient is now in stable condition and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has confirmed that he’s in stable condition. Officials continue to investigate whether anyone was in direct contact with him when he contracted his infectious disease. said. It was stressed that there is no public risk in the matter.

Massachusetts officials say that Monkeypox, a very rare and serious virus illness, begins with flu-like symptoms. It also causes swelling of the lymph nodes. The infection progresses eventually to cause rash and swelling on the face, and can last for two- to four weeks. 

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According to the CDC in 2017, after 40 years without a confirmed case of monkeypox, the virus resurfaced in Nigeria. According to the public health agency, there have been at least 8 additional cases reported worldwide and 450 monkeypox cases have been reported in Nigeria. 

Massachusetts officials reported that last year there was a single case of people from Texas and Maryland who were recently in Nigeria. 

According to the CDC, more cases were reported worldwide in the last week, including those from Spain, Portugal and Britain. Although it is not clear how these people were exposed, the agency said that some cases included individuals who identified themselves as males who had sex with them. 

The CDC urged doctors to be aware of patients suffering from rash diseases consistent with monkeypox regardless of sexual orientation and whether or not they’ve traveled. People suspected of having the virus should be isolated in a negative pressure room — spaces used to isolate patients — and staff should wear appropriate personal protective equipment around them, according to the agency. 

Many of the global monkeypox reports are coming from sexual networks. Inger Damon (director of CDC’s Division of High-Consequence Pathogens and Pathology), said that health-care professionals should alert for any rash with features typical of monkeypox.

Damon stated, “We ask the public to consult their healthcare provider if you have new rash or are worried about monkeypox.”

The CDC stated that the virus could be transmitted through bodily fluids, sores caused by monkeypox or shared possessions contaminated with it. According to the agency, monkeypox may also be transmitted through the respiratory droplets that are shared in close quarters, like within the same house. 

According to the CDC, common household disinfectants could kill monkeypox.

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