Massachusetts state health officials today confirmed a single case of monkeypox virus infection in an adult male with recent travel to Canada.
This is the first monkeypox case reported in the US this year.
Last year, Texas and Maryland each reported a case in 2021 in people with recent travel to Nigeria. Since early May 2022, the United Kingdom has identified 9 cases of monkeypox; the first case had recently traveled to Nigeria. None of the other cases have reported recent travel. UK health officials report that the most recent cases in the UK are in men who have sex with men.
CDC 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. It’s not clear how people in those clusters were exposed to monkeypox but cases include individuals who self-identify as men who have sex with men. CDC is urging healthcare providers in the U.S. to be alert for patients who have rash illnesses consistent with monkeypox, regardless of whether they have travel or specific risk factors for monkeypox.
Anyone, regardless of sexual orientation, can spread monkeypox through contact with body fluids, monkeypox sores, or shared items (such as clothing and bedding) that have been contaminated with fluids or sores of a person with monkeypox. Monkeypox virus can also spread between people through respiratory droplets typically in a close setting, such as the same household or a healthcare setting. Common household disinfectants can kill the monkeypox virus.
“Many of these global reports of monkeypox cases are occurring within sexual networks. 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,” said Inger Damon, MD, PhD, a poxvirus expert with more than 20 years’ experience and Director of CDC’s Division of High-Consequence Pathogens and Pathology, where the agency’s poxvirus research is based.
Based on findings of the Massachusetts case and the recent cases in the UK, clinicians should consider a diagnosis of monkeypox in people who present with an otherwise unexplained rash and 1) traveled, in the last 30 days, to a country that has recently had confirmed or suspected cases of monkeypox 2) report contact with a person or people with confirmed or suspected monkeypox, or 3) is a man who reports sexual contact with other men. This clinical guidance is consistent with recommendations from UK health officials and US federal health officials, based on identified cases.
Suspected cases 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. Illness could be clinically confused with a sexually transmitted infection like syphilis or herpes, or with varicella zoster virus.
Monkeypox is a rare but potentially serious viral illness that typically begins with flu-like illness and swelling of the lymph nodes and progresses to a widespread rash on the face and body. Monkeypox reemerged in Nigeria in 2017 after more than 40 years with no reported cases. Since then, there have been more than 450 reported cases in Nigeria and at least eight known exported cases internationally.
- Mozambique reports 1st wild poliovirus case since 1992
- Portugal confirms 5 monkeypox cases in the Lisbon and Tagus Valley region
- H5N6 avian influenza case reported in Guangxi, China
- Malaysia hand, foot and mouth disease outbreak continues to grow in 2022, Nearly 32K cases reported to date
- Bacteriophage therapy successful in treating cystic fibrosis patient’s Mycobacteria lung infection
- Leishmaniasis cases skyrocket in Panama
- Oman reports rare Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus case, 25th since 2013