Massachusetts officials on Wednesday confirmed a rare case of a monkeypox virus infection in the state, the first confirmed monkeypox case in the U.S. this year.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health said the case is an adult male who has recently traveled to Canada. Officials said initial testing was completed on Tuesday, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed testing on Wednesday. The male is hospitalized in good condition.
Officials and health care providers are working to identify people who may have been in contact with the patient. Officials believe the case does not currently pose a risk to the public.
Monkeypox is a rare viral illness that typically causes flu-like symptoms and swelling of the lymph nodes. But it can be serious, and patients have also reported a rash on the face and body. Most infections last between two and four weeks.
Officials on Wednesday said the virus doesn't spread easily between people, but it can be spread through “contact with body fluids, monkeypox sores, items that have been contaminated with fluids or sores (clothing, bedding, etc.), or through respiratory droplets following prolonged face-to-face contact,” according to a news release from The Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
Monkeypox originates from the same group of viruses as smallpox. The first human case of monkeypox was in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1970.
There is not currently a proven treatment for monkeypox virus infection, according to the CDC. However, people can seek to prevent infection by isolating infected patients, avoiding contact with animals that can harbor the virus, and other steps.
A U.S. outbreak of monkeypox in 2003 spread from imported African rodents to pet prairie dogs. It caused 47 reported cases among humans in six states, including Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin.
Last year, Texas and Maryland each reported one case of monkeypox in people who had recently traveled to Nigeria. Health officials in the United Kingdom have confirmed nine cases of monkeypox since earlier this month.
Contributing: Edward Segarra, Michelle Shen, Saleen Martin
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Massachusetts officials report first US case of monkeypox in 2022