BOSTON — A Massachusetts man was recently hospitalized at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston after contracting the rare monkeypox virus.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health released a statement on Wednesday confirming that the infection was the first case of the monkeypox virus in the state this year, and that they do not believe it to be a threat to public health.
According to the DPH, “a single case of monkeypox virus infection in an adult male with recent travel to Canada” was confirmed Wednesday evening.
“Initial testing was completed late Tuesday at the State Public Health Laboratory in Jamaica Plain,” the DPH stated, “and confirmatory testing was completed [Wednesday] at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
The 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,” they added.
Monkeypox is a rare virus that is closely related to chickenpox and distantly related to smallpox. The virus is most often found in West Africa but cases have occasionally been found in parts of Asia, the U.K. and the U.S.
Earlier this month, there were several reported cases found in London and one in Northeast England. However, according to a statement from the U.K. Health Security Agency, “monkeypox did not spread easily between people.”
Several other cases have been reported in both Portugal and Spain ever since, with all cases tracing back to the patients’ recent travel to West Africa. However, it has also been noted that he fatality rate of this virus is only 3.6%
Furthermore, according to the DPH, officials at the Massachusetts General Hospital have reported that the local man who was infected with the virus is in “good condition,” and that the case poses no risk to the public.”
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