Massachusetts monkeypox cases: State health officials confirm 2 more infections

BOSTON — Two more cases of monkeypox have been confirmed in the Bay State, state health officials announced Sunday.

Massachusetts last month reported the first rare case of the global monkeypox outbreak in the country this year. There are now 49 confirmed cases of monkeypox in the US, as the Department of Health confirmed two more local cases of monkeypox on Sunday in two men who were in close contact with each other.

The first tests were completed late Saturday at the State Public Health Laboratory in Jamaica Plain. Confirmatory tests will be performed at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

None of the men reported a known link to the first case found in Massachusetts last month.

The Boston Public Health Commission will lead the case investigations and work with DPH, the patients and their healthcare providers to identify individuals who may have come into contact with the patients while they were infectious. The men isolate themselves to avoid spreading monkeypox to others.

“While monkeypox infections remain rare and none of the close contacts of the first Massachusetts case developed monkeypox during their monitoring period, the CDC reports that the number of cases in the United States continues to increase,” DPH State epidemiologist Catherine Brown said in a statement. .

“It is very important to be aware of monkey pox symptoms and to be vigilant,” Brown added. “Individuals with a rash should contact their healthcare provider.”

There have been no deaths in the US or worldwide related to this outbreak, and patients generally fully recover in two to four weeks. While many of the early cases were related to international travel, recent cases are not.

Gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men make up a large proportion of the cases identified so far. However, anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has monkey pox is at risk.

Although the virus does not spread easily, people can spread the infection once they develop symptoms. Transmission occurs through direct contact with bodily fluids and monkey pox ulcers, by touching objects contaminated with fluids or sores (clothing, bedding, etc.), or less commonly through respiratory droplets after prolonged face-to-face contact.

Early monkey pox symptoms can include fever, headache, sore throat, and swollen lymph nodes, but a rash may be the first symptom. Rash lesions start flat, become raised, fill with clear fluid (vesicles), and then become pustules (filled with pus). A person with monkey pox may have many lesions or only a few.

As the CDC advises, you should contact your health care provider if you think you may have monkeypox. If you have to leave your home, wear a mask and cover up your rash or lesions around others.

Those living with or caring for someone who may have monkey pox should wear a mask and disposable gloves if they have to come into direct contact with lesions, and when handling clothing or bedding if the person cannot do it themselves.

They should also wash their hands regularly, especially after contact with the infected person or with their clothing, bedding, towels, and other objects or surfaces they may have touched.

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