DPH Announces Third Case of Monkeypox in Last Two Days

 by Tom MarinoJune 16, 2022

BOSTON - The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) today announced an additional case of monkeypox in an adult male with recent international travel, bringing the total number of monkeypox cases to seven since May.

DPH has announced three cases of monkeypox over two days, on June 15 and June 16. DPH also announced that it will update the public on monkeypox in Massachusetts each Thursday, including case counts and other important information. The next update will be issued Thursday, June 23. Updated case counts can also be obtained on the CDC’s website: 2022 U.S. Map and Case Count.

Initial testing of the newest case was completed late Wednesday at the State Public Health Laboratory in Jamaica Plain.

Anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has monkeypox is at risk. The virus does not spread easily between humans, but people can spread 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.

  • Monkeypox can spread through:
    • Direct skin-to-skin contact with rash lesions. Sexual/intimate contact, including kissing while a person is infected.
    • Living in a house and sharing a bed with someone. Sharing towels or unwashed clothing.
    • Respiratory secretions through face-to-face interactions (the type that mainly happen when living with someone or caring for someone who has monkeypox).
  • Monkeypox does not spread through:
    • Casual conversations. Walking by someone with monkeypox in a grocery store, for instance. Touching items like doorknobs.

Clinicians are asked to be alert to the possibility of monkeypox virus infection in individuals who have rash illnesses consistent with monkeypox. Early symptoms of monkeypox can include fever, headache, sore throat, and swollen lymph nodes, but 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 may have only a few. More complete information about how to recognize monkeypox is available.

More complete information about how to recognize monkeypox is available from the CDC.

The CDC advises individuals who believe they may have monkeypox should contact your health care provider. If you need to leave your home, wear a mask and cover your 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.

For additional resources, see information from the DPH or the CDC.

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