Health Officials Announce First US Case Of Monkeypox In 2022

Screenshot/YouTube/CBS Boston

Leena Nasir Entertainment Reporter
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The Massachusetts Department of Public Health confirmed Wednesday that the first U.S. case in 2022 of monkeypox has been identified.

An adult male remained in isolation at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) as of Wednesday since being admitted May 12, CBS News reported. He is currently listed in good condition, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health said in a press release. The patient, who recently traveled to Canada, underwent investigative testing in order to confirm the diagnosis of the very rare disease, the health agency said.

A doctor from MGH said there is no current risk to the general public. “I would emphasize that historically this has been a rare disease with very rare transmission around the world,”  Dr. Paul Biddinger said, according to CBS News. “What we have seen in the United Kingdom, in Spain and in Europe has been novel and that gives us cause for concern, but I think appropriately people should not be afraid of monkeypox right now. The current patient is of no public health risk right now.”

Health officials are currently attempting to locate individuals that might have come into contact with the patient when he was infectious, according to CBS News. Biddinger also reportedly urged the public to be aware of symptoms and what to look out for in relation to monkeypox. (RELATED: CDC: Most American Kids Have Caught COVID-19, And Almost All Of Them Were Just Fine)

Monkeypox initially presents itself with flu-like symptoms and the swelling of lymph nodes, eventually developing into rash and sores on the body, according to the press release. The disease, primarily found in Africa, typically spreads through direct contact with an infected animal and does not spread easily between people. The monkeypox case identified by Massachusetts health officials differs due to the fact that it seems to have been transmitted through human-to-human contact, according to CBS News.

Sarimer Sanchez, medical director of the Infectious Disease Bureau for the Boston Public Health Commission, explained close contact as occurring “via respiratory droplets and prolonged face-to-face contact, as well as direct contact through lesions or in direct contact through contaminated bedding or, sort of, clothing contaminated with the lesions,” according to CBS News.

The U.K. government confirmed a case of monkeypox in early May, according to a statement posted by the government. Several other cases have since been identified in the country, with Portugal also reporting five confirmed cases and Spain reporting eight suspected cases, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, said in a Thursday release.