Maryland Reports Rare Case of Monkeypox Virus

Monkeypox case
Source: CDC

The CDC recently reported a case of monkeypox in a Maryland patient who had recently returned from Nigeria.

In July, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported the country’s first monkeypox case in 18 years. The Texas resident had returned from a trip to Nigeria. Fortunately, none of the 200 possible contacts of the patient developed the infection. Now, another case of the monkeypox virus has come forward, this time from Maryland.

On November 16th, the Maryland Department of Health confirmed a case of monkeypox in a US citizen. Similar to the previous case, the patient had also recently returned from Nigeria. According to health officials, the patient had only developed mild symptoms and did not require hospitalization. However, they are currently in isolation as officials work to trace all possible contacts of the person. 

Public health authorities have identified and continue to follow up with those who may have been in contact with the diagnosed individual. Our response in close coordination with CDC officials demonstrates the importance of maintaining a strong public health infrastructure.

Dr. Jinlene Chan, Maryland Department of Health Deputy Secretary for Public Health

Health experts are not advising any extra precautions for the public at the moment.

Second Case in the US Since 2003

The rare disease is commonly present in Central and Western African countries. However, cases have also occurred outside of Africa due to imported animals or international travel. Belonging to the same family as the smallpox virus, the disease usually presents with a flu-like illness. Symptoms are usually mild and self-limiting in humans, but human-to-human transmission can lead to outbreaks. The fatality rate stands at 0-11 per cent. Moreover, there are currently no treatment options for the disease.

In 2003, the US experienced its worst outbreak of monkeypox. The outbreak caused around 47 cases across the country. It was traced to a shipment of animals from Ghana. However, thanks to extensive laboratory testing and the use of the smallpox vaccine, the outbreak was effectively contained.

Source: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


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