Two additional Mass. monkeypox cases confirmed Wednesday by health officials

Two additional Mass. monkeypox cases confirmed Wednesday by health officials

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced two additional cases of monkeypox in adult males on Wednesday, bringing the total number of monkeypox cases in the state to six since May.The DPH said initial testing was completed on Tuesday at the State Public Health Laboratory in Jamaica Plain, and state health authorities confirmed testing will be done at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The DPH said there is no known connection between these two new cases, but did not specify if there were any connections between the previous cases. The DPH said it was working with Massachusetts health officials, the patients and health care providers to identify individuals who may have been in contact with the patients while they were infectious. Recent data from the CDC indicated there have been 72 cases of monkeypox virus this year in residents, which includes the first identified case in Massachusetts, which was confirmed on May 18. There have been no deaths in the United States or globally related to this outbreak and patients generally recover fully in 2-4 weeks.The DPH said while many of the early cases were associated with 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 to date,” the DPH said in a news release. “However, the risk is not limited to the LGBT community, and anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has monkeypox is at risk.”Early symptoms of monkeypox 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 monkeypox can have many lesions or they may only have a few.While the virus does not spread easily between people, people can spread the infection once they develop symptoms. Transmission occurs through direct contact with body fluids and monkeypox sores, by touching items that have been contaminated with fluids or sores (clothing, bedding, etc.), or less commonly, through respiratory droplets following prolonged face-to-face contact.Anyone who believes they may have monkeypox should isolate, but if they need to leave their home, they should wear a mask and cover their rash or lesions when around others.Those who live with or care for someone who may have monkeypox should wear a mask and disposable gloves if they need to have any direct contact with lesions and when handling any clothes or bedding if the person cannot do it themselves. They should also wash their hands regularly, especially after contact with the person who is infected or with their clothes, bed sheets, towels and other items or surfaces they have touched.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced two additional cases of monkeypox in adult males on Wednesday, bringing the total number of monkeypox cases in the state to six since May.

The DPH said initial testing was completed on Tuesday at the State Public Health Laboratory in Jamaica Plain, and state health authorities confirmed testing will be done at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The DPH said there is no known connection between these two new cases, but did not specify if there were any connections between the previous cases.

The DPH said it was working with Massachusetts health officials, the patients and health care providers to identify individuals who may have been in contact with the patients while they were infectious.

Recent data from the CDC indicated there have been 72 cases of monkeypox virus this year in residents, which includes the first identified case in Massachusetts, which was confirmed on May 18.

There have been no deaths in the United States or globally related to this outbreak and patients generally recover fully in 2-4 weeks.

The DPH said while many of the early cases were associated with 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 to date,” the DPH said in a news release. “However, the risk is not limited to the LGBT community, and anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has monkeypox is at risk.”

Early symptoms of monkeypox 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 monkeypox can have many lesions or they may only have a few.

While the virus does not spread easily between people, people can spread the infection once they develop symptoms. Transmission occurs through direct contact with body fluids and monkeypox sores, by touching items that have been contaminated with fluids or sores (clothing, bedding, etc.), or less commonly, through respiratory droplets following prolonged face-to-face contact.

Anyone who believes they may have monkeypox should isolate, but if they need to leave their home, they should wear a mask and cover their rash or lesions when around others.

Those who live with or care for someone who may have monkeypox should wear a mask and disposable gloves if they need to have any direct contact with lesions and when handling any clothes or bedding if the person cannot do it themselves. They should also wash their hands regularly, especially after contact with the person who is infected or with their clothes, bed sheets, towels and other items or surfaces they have touched.

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