Health

Seventh monkeypox case confirmed in Mass.

There have been 84 cases of monkeypox this year among U.S. residents.

Suspected monkeypox samples are seen inside a refrigerator at the microbiology laboratory of La Paz Hospital in Madrid, Spain. Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images Europe

One new case of monkeypox was confirmed by state health officials Thursday. The new case was found in an adult man who recently traveled internationally, according to The Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Including the new case, there have been seven total confirmed cases since May. 

The new case was initially found by tests at the State Public Health Laboratory in Jamaica Plain, and more tests will be done by the CDC. The man is currently isolating, and public health officials are working to identify his close contacts in order to limit the spread of the virus. 

There have been 84 cases of monkeypox this year among US residents, according to CDC data. The first case was confirmed in Massachusetts on May 18. Patients generally recover in two to four weeks, according to the DPH, and there have been no deaths either in the United States or around the world associated with this latest outbreak. 

Advertisement:

“Gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men make up a large proportion of the cases identified to date. However, the risk is not limited to the LGBTQ community, and anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has monkeypox is at risk,” a DPH statement said. 

Multiple monkeypox cases were confirmed earlier this week. As case counts continue to grow, DPH said it will update the public regularly each Thursday. 

The largest area impacted by the outbreak appears to be Europe. More than 1,500 cases have been identified in 25 European countries, World Health Organization leaders said Wednesday. This amounts to about 85 percent of global cases.

“The magnitude of this outbreak poses a real risk,” said Dr. Hans Kluge, WHO’s director of the European region. “The longer the virus circulates, the more it will extend its reach, and the stronger the disease’s foothold will get in nonendemic countries.”

An emergency meeting will be convened by WHO next week in Geneva. There, officials will determine if the outbreak constitutes a public health emergency of international concern. This formal declaration would necessitate a coordinated international response. 

Advertisement:

The virus does not spread easily between people, the DPH said. Transmission usually occurs through direct contact with body fluids and monkeypox sores, or by touching items like clothing that have been contaminated. Less commonly, it can spread through respiratory droplets following prolonged face-to-face contact. 

“In many of the recent cases, the locations of the rash lesions suggest transmission during sexual contact,” the DPH said. 

Early symptoms can include fever, headache, sore throat, and swollen lymph nodes. However, a rash may be the first symptom as well. Rash lesions start out flat, but gradually become raised and filled with fluid.

Conversation

This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on Boston.com