Local

Mass. confirms 30 new monkeypox cases, expands vaccine providers

The death toll as a result of the current outbreak remains at 0, according to the DPH.

There have been 157 cases of monkeypox in Massachusetts. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health confirmed 30 new cases of monkeypox Thursday, bringing the Commonwealth’s total to 79 cases this year. 

The Department of Public Health, or DPH, confirmed that this week’s cases were all within adult men diagnosed between July 14th and 20th. The death toll remains at 0. 

Last week the DPH announced that it received its initial shipment of over 2,000 doses of the JYNNEOS vaccine, which prevents smallpox and monkeypox, on July 5. As of Thursday, 2,952 doses of the vaccine have been administered.

monkeypox

On July 15, the federal government increased allocation of the vaccine. As a result, the number of healthcare providers and locations offering vaccination across the state has expanded to 11, according to the DPH. The list of healthcare providers offering the vaccine is updated on the Commonwealth’s monkeypox website.

Advertisement:

Despite this expansion, the DPH noted that the vaccine remains extremely limited. The vaccine is limited to Massachusetts residents who are either known or presumed contacts of a monkeypox patient. 

The first case of monkeypox in Massachusetts was announced May 18. Since then, the DPH has provided weekly updates about cases and vaccination efforts on Thursdays. 

Current data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that there have been 2,425 cases of monkeypox this year in U.S. residents. There have been no deaths from the illness reported nationally or internationally as a result of the current outbreak, according to the DPH. 

The DPH reported that gay and bisexual men, as well as other men who have sex with men, continue to make up a large proportion of monkeypox cases. However, they confirmed that the risk of contracting the disease is not limited to the LGBTQ+ community. 

Monkeypox symptoms can include fevers, headaches, sore throats, and swollen lymph nodes, but the defining characteristic is a rash that fills with clear fluid. 

The disease can spread through prolonged contact with these rash lesions, whether through direct skin-to-skin contact or through a secondary surface such as fabric. Less frequently, the disease can spread through respiratory droplets, the DPH said.

Advertisement:

The DPH confirmed that monkeypox does not spread through brief conversations or interactions with someone who has tested positive. 

For those who believe they may have the disease, the CDC advises to wear a mask, cover any rash or lesions when around others, and contact a healthcare provider.
For more information on monkeypox and how it spreads, visit www.mass.gov/monkeypox and www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox.

Conversation

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