The Maryland Department of Health has identified the first presumed case of human monkeypox virus infection in an adult Maryland resident from the National Capital Region. The individual is currently recovering in isolation and is not hospitalized.
The initial testing was conducted at the State Public Health Laboratory. MDH is awaiting confirmatory testing to be conducted at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Although human monkeypox is a rare infection in the United States, this Maryland case and other cases in the region and country remind us that we need to be prepared and take steps to prevent infection and its spread,” said MDH Deputy Secretary for Public Health Dr. Jinlene Chan. “MDH will continue to work with local and federal public health authorities and communicate responsibly with Maryland residents as we learn more.”
Human monkeypox is in the same family of viruses as smallpox but generally causes a milder infection. It can be spread between people through direct contact with skin lesions, body fluids or contaminated materials such as clothing or linens. It can also be spread through large respiratory droplets, which generally cannot travel more than a few feet, and prolonged face-to-face contact is required.
More:As ‘ghost gun’ law goes into effect, Maryland’s policies, already among strongest, tighten
More:Maryland’s seafood industry needs more visas for foreign workers. Will Congress help?
Presenting symptoms typically include fever, chills, new swelling of lymph nodes, and a distinctive rash that often starts on the face and spreads to other parts of the body; however, onset of rash lesions elsewhere in the absence of other symptoms has been reported.
Symptoms generally appear seven to 14 days after exposure and, for most people, clear up within two to four weeks. Individuals identified as having been potentially exposed to this case will be monitored for symptoms for 21 days after exposure.
While the risk of human monkeypox transmission remains low, the public is strongly encouraged to stay alert for any symptoms of the illness and to seek medical care immediately, especially if you meet this criteria:
- Those who traveled to central or west African countries, parts of Europe where monkeypox cases were reported, or other areas with confirmed cases of monkeypox the month before their symptoms began;
- Those who have had close contact with a person with confirmed or suspected monkeypox; or
- Those who have had close or intimate in-person contact with individuals in a social network experiencing monkeypox activity, which includes men who have sex with men.
MDH provides human monkeypox information and resources for residents and clinicians on its website. Visit health.maryland.gov/monkeypox.
Monkeypox in the United States
More than 250 cases of monkeypox had been confirmed around the world over a two-week period, but a pandemic is unlikely, a World Health Organization expert said May 30.
Ten cases were confirmed in the U.S. from May 13 to May 26, the WHO said. The U.S. is one of 23 countries outside endemic regions for monkeypox to report cases over the time period – a total of 257 confirmed cases and an additional 117 to 127 suspected cases that were still being investigated.
Cases had been found in California, Florida, Massachusetts, New York, Utah, Virginia and Washington as of May 26.
No deaths have been reported.
What is monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a rare disease that comes from the same family of viruses as smallpox, which includes cowpox, camelpox, horsepox and others. The virus was first discovered in 1958 in colonies of research monkeys, according to the CDC.
The human first case of the virus was identified in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Most monkeypox infections today still occur there, but the disease has also been reported in several other central and western African countries, the CDC said.
#case #human #monkeypox #reported #Maryland