Massachusetts Man Has First US Monkeypox Case This Year
A small but growing global monkeypox outbreak has reached the U.S. A man is being treated in isolation at Massachusetts General Hospital. Officials say there is no current public health risk, but the disease can be serious. Other news includes a measles outbreak in Virginia and child hepatitis cases.
The Boston Globe:
State Health Officials Confirm Rare Case Of Monkeypox In Massachusetts
A man who traveled to Canada has been diagnosed with the monkeypox virus, the nation’s first confirmed case of the rare disease, and is being treated in isolation at Massachusetts General Hospital. State public health officials and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the case on Wednesday, and hospital officials said they are trying to track down anyone who may have come in contact with the patient. The man was admitted to the hospital on May 12 and “during the course of their admission, they were identified as a possible monkeypox suspect,” Dr. Erica Shenoy, director of the Infection Control Unit at MGH, said at an evening news conference outside the hospital. Officials did not identify the man or say when he traveled to Canada or to what areas of the country. The CDC said he used “private transportation” for the trip. (Stoico, 5/18)
Massachusetts Officials Report First US Case Of Monkeypox In 2022
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. ... There is not currently a proven treatment for monkeypox virus infection, according to the CDC. (Pitofsky, 5/18)
UK, Spain, Portugal Report More Monkeypox Cases
The possibility of community spread is growing more likely in the United Kingdom, as recent cases have no travel history to a country where the virus is endemic. The most recent cases have also been seen in men who have sex with men (MSM). Though monkeypox is not known to be sexually transmitted, it can be passed through close, personal contact, and via the clothing and linens that have been used by a person with monkeypox. (Soucheray, 5/18)
More on monkeypox —
What Is Monkeypox And What Do We Know About The Cases In The U.K. And Europe?
There's a monkeypox outbreak in the United Kingdom, Portugal and Spain. The outbreak is quite small — just 36 suspected cases spread across the three countries, including eight in England and 20 in Portugal. A case in the U.S. has also been reported. But health officials have little clue where people caught the monkeypox virus. And there's concern the virus may be spreading through the community — undetected — and possibly through a new route of transmission. "This [outbreak] is rare and unusual," epidemiologist Susan Hopkins, who's the chief medical adviser of the U.K. Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said in a statement on Monday. (Doucleff, 5/18)
The Washington Post:
What Is Monkeypox, The Rare Virus Now Confirmed In The U.S. And Europe?
Monkeypox is not known to spread easily between humans. The fact that cases are emerging in several countries at once — with signs of “sustained” transmission in people — is striking, said Aris Katzourakis, a professor of evolution and genomics at the University of Oxford. “It’s either a lot of bad luck or something quite unusual happening here,” Katzourakis said. (Kornfield and Knowles, 5/18)
Virginia issues a warning about measles, and a global hepatitis outbreak grows —
Virginia Health Officials Warn Of Possible Measles Exposures
Health officials are warning the public about possible exposures to a child with measles at two northern Virginia locations. The unvaccinated child contracted measles during international travel, but is now improving, the Virginia Department of Health said Wednesday in a news release. People may have been exposed at Kaiser Permanente Ashburn Medical Center between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Friday or Inova Fairfax Hospital’s pediatric and adult emergency departments in Falls Church on Sunday or Monday nights, officials said. Outside of these locations and times, officials said they believe the risk to the community is low. (5/18)
Investigation Into Mysterious Pediatric Hepatitis Cases In The US Expands
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now investigating at least 180 cases of severe hepatitis with unknown cause among children — an increase from the 109 cases that were reported earlier this month, federal officials confirmed on Wednesday. Thirty-six states and territories have now reported cases, and the CDC said it is working with health departments and clinicians nationwide to identify and investigate why the mysterious illness may be sickening children. (Mitropoulos, 5/18)