Second US case of monkeypox this year discovered in Maryland

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Second US case of monkeypox this year discovered in Maryland

A case of monkeypox, a rare but potentially serious viral disease, was identified in a Maryland resident who had recently returned from Nigeria, the second case in the United States this year, health officials said. . He said the risk of spreading the virus was low.

The Maryland Department of Health said in a statement Tuesday that the man was in isolation with mild symptoms, but had not been hospitalized. The agency did not identify the passenger.

This is the second confirmed case of monkeypox in the US in the past few months. The first infection was discovered in July in a Texas resident who had also returned from Nigeria, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said at the time.

In a statement Wednesday, the CDC said it was working with an unnamed airline and health officials to reach anyone who may have come in contact with the Maryland passenger. However, the agency said, fellow travelers were less likely to have contracted the virus through respiratory droplets as they were required to wear masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

“No special precautions are recommended for the general public at this time,” Maryland health officials said in the statement.

The CDC said monkeypox — so named because it was first identified in laboratory monkeys — occurs mostly in central and western Africa, although outbreaks followed in 2003 from imported African rodents to domesticated prairie dogs in the United States. Happened.

The CDC said that during that outbreak, 47 confirmed and probable cases of monkeypox had been identified in six states. Symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle pain and rash were found in infected people. No death was reported.

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Monkeypox is in the same family of viruses as smallpox, but according to the CDC, while it causes mild symptoms, the illness usually begins with flu-like symptoms and swelling of the lymph nodes and develops into a widespread rash on the face and body. it occurs. Most infections last two to four weeks.

In this case, laboratory testing at the CDC revealed that the patient had been infected with a strain of monkeypox, which is most commonly seen in parts of West Africa, including Nigeria. The CDC said infection with that strain is fatal in about 1 in 100 people, although the rate may be higher in people with weakened immune systems.

The CDC said it has been supporting Nigeria’s response to monkeypox since 2017, when the disease re-emerged in that country after a period of more than 40 years with no reported cases. Since that time, 218 cases have been identified in Nigeria and eight cases in international travelers from the country, including Texas and Maryland.

According to the CDC, there are no specific treatments available for monkeypox infection, although a vaccine is licensed in the United States to prevent monkeypox and smallpox.

Monkeypox is most commonly found in animals such as rats, mice, and rabbits, but it can infect people who have been bitten or scratched by an animal; who prepare wild game; or those who come into contact with an infected animal or, possibly, animal products, the CDC said.

The virus can spread between people through bodily fluids, wounds, or objects contaminated with bodily fluids, but it is most commonly spread through large respiratory droplets that travel no more than a few feet. As such, prolonged face-to-face contact is usually necessary for the virus to spread, the CDC said.

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