Mass. monkeypox patient released from hospital

BOSTON — A man identified as the first case of monkeypox in Massachusetts has been released from the hospital.

A spokesperson for Massachusetts General Hospital confirmed the patient was discharged late last week in accordance with Department of Public Health guidance.

The spokesperson says he is not aware of any additional monkeypox cases at the hospital.

The Massachusetts case was the first confirmed in the United States this year. The DPH said May 18 the man had recently traveled to Canada and was being treated in the special pathogens unit at MGH.

Health officials in Europe, North America, Israel and Australia recently identified more than 100 cases of monkeypox, the Associated Press reported. They are closely monitoring the spread because the virus is appearing in people who did not travel to Africa, where monkeypox is endemic.

However, officials say the risk to the public is low.

Monkeypox 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.

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.

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

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