First U.S. Monkeypox Case This Year Reported in Massachusetts

A rash due to monkeypox marks the hands of a patient during an investigation into an outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo during 1996 to 1997. (Centers for Disease Control via Reuters, FILE)

A Massachusetts resident has tested positive for monkeypox, health officials confirmed Wednesday, making it the first case of the rare virus detected in the United States this year.

According to a release from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the patient is an adult male who recently traveled to Canada. The department completed initial testing Tuesday and was confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“The case poses no risk to the public, and the individual is hospitalized and in good condition,” MDPH stated in a press 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.”

It comes after four more cases of monkeypox were identified in the U.K recently, bringing its nationwide total to nine since the beginning of May.

The resident was admitted to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston on May 12 and “during the course of their admission they were identified as a possible monkeypox suspect,” Dr. Erica Shenoy, associate chief of the hospital’s infection control unit, told reporters during a briefing Wednesday.

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SOURCE: ABC News, Mary Kekatos

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