CDC Confirms First U.S. Case of Monkeypox in 2022, Health Officials Assure 'No Risk' to Public

A Massachusetts resident contracted monkeypox after traveling to Canada by private transportation

Monkeypox. Photo: Getty

The United States has reported its first case of the monkeypox this year after a Massachusetts resident was diagnosed following a trip to Canada, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed Wednesday.

The rare virus, named because it was originally found in colonies of monkeys used for research, first causes fever, headache, muscle aches, chills and swollen lymph nodes, and after one to three days patients develop a rash that spreads over the body.

Monkeypox typically spreads through respiratory droplets, or from touching body fluids or the rashes.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health said the resident, an adult male, tested positive Tuesday. He has been hospitalized and is in stable condition at Massachusetts General Hospital, remaining in an airborne infection isolation room since last week.

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The CDC said that the Massachusetts resident traveled to Canada by private transportation and health officials are investigating the case and any contact the patient might have made with others.

"The case poses no risk to the public, and the individual is hospitalized and in good condition," the department said in a release. "DPH is working closely with the CDC, relevant local boards of health, and the patient's health care providers to identify individuals who may have been in contact with the patient while he was infectious."

In recent weeks, the virus has also been detected in several other countries including Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

"Many of these global reports of monkeypox cases are occurring within sexual networks," Dr. Inger Damon, Director of CDC's Division of High-Consequence Pathogens and Pathology, said in a release. "However, healthcare providers should be alert to any rash that has features typical of monkeypox. We're asking the public to contact their healthcare provider if they have a new rash and are concerned about monkeypox."

Last year, the U.S. saw two separate cases of monkeypox after two individuals contracted the virus while traveling from Nigeria — the first case in July in Texas and the second case in November in Maryland. Monkeypox is most often found in central and West African countries or in travelers coming from those areas.

Prior to 2021, the last cases in the U.S. were from 2003.

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