BOSTON - The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) today announced eight additional cases of monkeypox in adult males within the past week. A total of 21 individuals have been confirmed with the infection in Massachusetts since the first case was announced on May 18.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been 351 cases of monkeypox virus this year in US residents.
DPH provides updates on Monkeypox every Thursday. Current information on nationwide case counts can be found on the CDC website.
There have been no deaths in the US or globally related to this outbreak and patients generally recover fully in 2-4 weeks. Although 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. 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.
The virus does not spread easily, but can be spread once symptoms develop.
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. In many of the recent cases, the locations of the rash lesions suggest transmission during sexual contact. Examples where monkeypox can spread and where it does not:
Monkeypox can spread through:
The CDC advises those that believe they have monkeypox to contact their health care provider.
Infected individuals that must leave their home should wear a mask and cover any 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 may have touched.