(CTN News) – On Wednesday, health officials in Massachusetts reported a rare case of monkeypox in a man who recently traveled to Canada, and they are investigating whether it is connected to small outbreaks in Europe.
Monkeypox is typically found in Africa, and rare cases in the U.S. and elsewhere are usually the result of travel there. The United Kingdom, Portugal, and Spain have reported a few confirmed or suspected cases this month.
Officials in the US have been in contact with their counterparts in the UK and Canada regarding the investigation. U.S. officials said there is no risk to the public, and the Massachusetts resident is hospitalized but in good condition.
The case is the first in the United States this year. The states of Texas and Maryland reported cases of the disease among travelers to Nigeria last year.
Monkeypox typically begins as a flu-like illness and swelling of the lymph nodes, followed by a rash on the face and body. Typically, people in Africa get infected by bites from rodents or small animals, and infection is not easily spread.
Investigators in Europe say most of the infections have been detected in gay or bisexual men, and officials are looking into the possibility that some of the infections may have been transmitted through intimate contact.
Monkeypox is caused by the same virus as smallpox. According to WHO, monkeypox is fatal for about one in ten people, but most people recover within weeks.
Symptoms of Monkeypox
Fever, headache, muscle aches, backaches, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and tiredness are among the initial symptoms, according to UKHSA. The rash may appear later, usually starting on the face and spreading to other parts of the body. The rash typically progresses through many stages before forming a scab, which eventually peels off.