US case of monkeypox reported in Massachusetts man

May 18, 2022, 3:07 PM | Updated: 3:36 pm
This 2003 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Preventio...

This 2003 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a monkeypox virion, obtained from a sample associated with the 2003 prairie dog outbreak. On Wednesday, May 18, 2022, Massachusetts has reported a rare case of monkeypox in a man who recently had traveled to Canada, and investigators are looking into whether it is connected to recent cases in Europe. (Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regner/CDC via AP)

(Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regner/CDC via AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — Massachusetts on Wednesday reported a rare case of monkeypox in a man who recently traveled to Canada, and health officials are looking into whether it is connected to small outbreaks in Europe.

Monkeypox is typically limited to Africa, and rare cases in the U.S. and elsewhere are usually linked to travel there. A small number of confirmed or suspected cases have been reported this month in the United Kingdom, Portugal and Spain.

U.S. health officials said they are in contact with officials in the U.K. and Canada as part of the investigation. The U.S. case poses no risk to the public, and the Massachusetts resident is hospitalized but in good condition, officials said.

The case is the first in the U.S. this year. Last year, Texas and Maryland each reported a case in people who traveled to Nigeria.

Monkeypox typically begins with a flu-like illness and swelling of the lymph nodes, followed by a rash on the face and body. In Africa, people have been infected through bites from rodents or small animals, and it does not usually spread easily among people.

However, investigators in Europe say most of the cases have been in gay or bisexual men, and officials are looking into the possibility that some infections were spread through close contact during sex.

Monkeypox comes from the same family of viruses as smallpox. Most people recover from monkeypox within weeks, but the disease is fatal for up to 1 in 10 people, according to the World Health Organization.

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US case of monkeypox reported in Massachusetts man