US Reports First Monkeypox Case

(JAMAICA OBSERVER) – The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is collaborating with Massachusetts health officials on an investigation into a case of monkeypox, the agency said in a statement, Wednesday.

According to an article published by CNN, the case of monkeypox was confirmed in a man in Massachusetts who had recently travelled to Canada. Canadian health officials say no cases of monkeypox have been reported to the Public Health Agency of Canada.

The CNN reports states that Massachusettes public health authorities are contact tracing to find people the man may have been in contact with while infectious and says “the case poses no risk to the public.”

The article also shared that the infected individual has been hospitalised in good condition.

The individual’s testing was first completed in the state’s public health laboratory Tuesday, and on Wednesday the CDC confirmed the case through its own testing.

CNN says the CDC is currently tracking multiple clusters of monkeypox that have been reported within the past two weeks in several countries that don’t normally report monkeypox, including Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

In the meantime the health agency says people who may be experiencing symptoms of monkeypox and those who have close contact with them, should contact their doctor if they have any unusual rashes or lesions.

Symptoms may include a flu-like illness, lymph-node swelling and a rash on the face and body.

Monkeypox is a rare but dangerous infection similar to the now eradicated smallpox virus. It is usually contracted from a rodent or small mammal, and it does not easily spread from one person to another. However, the monkeypox virus can spread through contact with body fluids, monkeypox sores, or items such as clothing and bedding that have been contaminated with the virus. It can also spread from person to person through respiratory droplets, typically in a close setting, according to the CDC.

The Massachusettes case is the first case reported this year.