Europe (The Times Groupe)- In the United States, a case of Monkeypox has been confirmed in a person who traveled to Canada recently. As of yet, no one knows if the man, who lives in Massachusetts and traveled to Canada by car, is connected to the Monkeypox outbreak in Europe. infections
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced the case on its website. A confirmation test was conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which had warned earlier Wednesday that cases in this country were likely to be detected soon.
“Given that we have seen now confirmed cases out of Portugal, suspected cases out of Spain, we’re seeing this expansion of confirmed and suspect cases globally, we have a sense that no one has their arms around this to know how large and expansive it might be. And given how much travel there is between the United States and Europe, I am very confident we’re going to see cases in the United States,” said Jennifer McQuiston, deputy director of the CDC’s division of high consequence pathogens and pathology.
The United Kingdom, Portugal, Spain, and other European countries also are experiencing an outbreak of Monkeypox. There have been 68 suspected cases so far, including eight in England and 20 in Portugal. There have also been cases in Canada and the U.S.
However, health officials don’t know where people caught the Monkeypox virus. The virus is suspected to be spreading undetected throughout the community 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.
“Exactly where and how they [the people] acquired their infections remains under urgent investigation,” the agency said in the statement.
Monkeypox can be a nasty illness. It can cause fever, body aches, enlarged lymph nodes, and eventually “pox,” or painful, fluid-filled blisters on the face, hands, and feet. Monkeypox is quite deadly and can kill 10% of people infected with it. But the version currently circulating in England is milder. Fatality rates are below 1%. Cases typically resolve within two to four weeks.
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Transmission of Monkeypox virus occurs when a person comes into contact with the virus from an animal, human, or materials contaminated with the virus. The virus enters the body through broken skin (even if not visible), respiratory tract, or the mucous membranes (eyes, nose, or mouth). Animal-to-human transmission may occur by bite or scratch, bush meat preparation, direct contact with body fluids or lesion material, or indirect contact with lesion material, such as through contaminated bedding. Human-to-human transmission is thought to occur primarily through large respiratory droplets. Respiratory droplets generally cannot travel more than a few feet, so prolonged face-to-face contact is required. Other human-to-human methods of transmission include direct contact with body fluids or lesion material, and indirect contact with lesion material, such as through contaminated clothing or linens.”