A single case of the rare but serious monkeypox virus has been confirmed in Massachusetts in a man. Recent cases in the United Kingdom, Spain, and Portugal have been linked to men who have sex with other men.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed the U.S. case on Wednesday, after initial testing completed late Tuesday at the State Public Health Laboratory in Jamaica Plain.
Contact tracing efforts are underway between Massachusetts DPH, the CDC, relevant local health officials, and the man's health care providers.
The United Kingdom has confirmed nine cases of monkeypox since early May. The first of these cases had recently traveled to Nigeria. None of the other cases reported recent travel.
Health authorities in Spain said late on Wednesday that they were also assessing 23 possible cases of monkeypox, mostly in men who have sex with men.
The Epoch Times contacted Massachusetts DPH for further relevant information regarding the U.S. case.
Monkeypox symptoms typically begin with flu-like illness and swelling of the lymph nodes. It progresses to a rash on the face and body. Most infections last two to four weeks.
The virus does not easily spread between people, according to Massachusetts DPH.
Transmission can occur through contact with body fluids, monkeypox sores, items such as clothing or bedding contaminated with fluids or sores, or through respiratory droplets following prolonged face-to-face contact.
Massachusetts DPH is advising clinicians to consider a diagnosis of monkeypox in people who present with an otherwise unexplained rash, have had recent overseas travel in the last 30 days to places with confirmed or suspected cases, have had contact with confirmed or suspected cases, or is a man who reports sexual contact with other men.
The advice is based on the findings of the U.S. case and recent UK cases, and is in line with recommendations from UK health officials and U.S. federal health officials.
Health care providers are being told that monkeypox illness could be clinically confused with a sexually transmitted infection syphilis or herpes, or with varicella zoster virus.
Patients may present with early flu-like symptoms and progress to lesions that may begin on one site on the body and spread to other parts.
It is very rare for the disease to occur in the United States, with most cases linked to international travel or importing animals from places where the disease is common, such as central and west Africa, according to the CDC.
In central and west Africa, people can be exposed through bites or scratches from rodents and small mammals, preparing wild game, or having contact with an infected animal or possible animal products.