A man in Massachusetts has contracted monkeypox after traveling to Canada, the Centers for Disease Control and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health confirmed on Wednesday.
Although agencies are working with the man’s healthcare provider and the local health board to identify anyone who has contacted him, they insisted his case poses no risk to the public, and he is reported to be hospitalized and in good condition.
The case was first reported in the United States this year, and was based on a warning from Spanish authorities about a possible outbreak of the virus in 23 people in Madrid. Usually spread through respiratory infections, a spokesman for Madrid’s regional health department suggested that the local outbreak was driven by “fluid contact”, noting that eight suspected cases were found among gay men.
About 20 suspected cases of monkeypox among Portuguese youths in and around Lisbon this week have been uncovered, and several similar cases have been confirmed in the UK. Of the seven UK cases confirmed as of Monday, four were among the most recent homosexual or bisexual men, and the first involved a man who had recently visited Nigeria, where the infection was probably contracted.
Chickenpox has similarities with monkeypox, a deadly virus that was declared extinct in 1980, and chickenpox, a common childhood disease. It starts with flu-like symptoms, including fever, headache, muscle aches, and swollen lymph nodes, before the rash appears on the face and spreads to other parts of the body. Although curable, it is usually mild and the victims usually recover within a week.
There are two forms of monkeypox – a West African and a Central African strain – and the current crop in the case is thought to be of a mild West African breed. Two cases of monkeypox were detected in the United States last year, both of which recently traveled to Nigeria.
The virus is difficult to spread, infection usually occurs through bodily fluids and wounds, contaminated clothing, or prolonged face-to-face contact that leads to the exchange of respiratory drops.
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