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First case of monkeypox confirmed in Massachusetts

BOSTON — Massachusetts health officials have confirmed the first case of monkeypox in the state.

The DPH says the case was confirmed in a man who recently traveled to Canada. He is being treated in isolation in the special pathogens unit at Massachusetts General Hospital.

The virus is a rare but potentially serious illness that typically begins with flu-like symptoms and swollen lymph nodes, before progressing to a rash on the face and body. Most infections last 2-4 weeks, health officials say.

In parts of central and west Africa, where monkeypox occurs, people can be exposed through bites or scratches from rodents and small mammals, preparing wild game, or having contact with an infected animal or animal products. It does not spread easily between people.

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Transmission can happen through contact with bodily fluids, monkeypox sores or items that have been contaminated with fluids or sores, such as clothing or bedding. The virus can also travel in respiratory droplets during prolonged face-to-face contact or be passed through sexual contact between men.

No other cases have been identified in the United States this year. Two states reported a case in people who traveled to Nigeria in 2021.

Since early May, nine cases have been confirmed in the United Kingdom. The first case had recently traveled to Nigeria.

For more about this virus, visit https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/.

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