Doctor (illustration)
Doctor (illustration)Photo: iStock

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) on Wednesday confirmed a single case of monkeypox virus infection in an adult male with recent travel to Canada, the Department said in a statement.

Initial testing was completed late Tuesday at the State Public Health Laboratory in Jamaica Plain and confirmatory testing was completed Wednesday at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The statement added that "DPH is working closely with the CDC, relevant local boards of health, and the patient’s health care providers to identify individuals who may have been in contact with the patient while he was infectious. This contact tracing approach is the most appropriate given the nature and transmission of the virus."

"The case poses no risk to the public, and the individual is hospitalized and in good condition."

Monkeypox typically occurs in central and west Africa, where people can be exposed through bites and scratches from various animals and possibly animal products. It does not spread easily between people, though transmission can occur through bodily fluids, contact with monkeypox sores, respiratory droplets following prolonged face-to-face contact, or items contaminated by fluid or sores.

This is the first monkeypox case in the US this year; in 2021, Texas and Maryland each reported a single case in people who had recently traveled to Nigeria.

The UK has identified nine cases of monkeypox since the start of May 2022; only one of those had recently traveled to Nigeria. The more recent ones are men who have sexual relations with other men.