Two more people have tested positive for monkeypox in Massachusetts, health officials announced Wednesday.
There have now been six confirmed cases in the Bay State since last month, the Department of Public Health said, adding that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report a total of 72 this year in U.S. residents.
The DPH says there has been no known contact between the two patients, who are isolating to avoid spreading the illness.
The cases come a day after Massachusetts confirmed its fourth case.
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Initial testing was completed Tuesday at the State Public Health Laboratory in Jamaica Plain and confirmatory testing will be done at the CDC.
State health officials said they are working with local health officials, the patients and health care providers to identify anyone who might have come into contact with any of the patients while they were infectious.
Monkeypox typically spreads by skin-to-skin contact, or contact with contaminated clothing or bedding. It's rarely fatal.
Early cases identified in the U.S. this year were associated with international travel, the Department of Public Health said, but recent cases aren't.
A probable case of monkeypox in Rhode Island was believed to be related to travel to Massachusetts, Rhode Island health officials said last week.
“While we are in this current outbreak, and even though monkeypox remains rare, people are encouraged to be mindful of their health,” Department of Public Health State Epidemiologist Dr. Catherine Brown said in a statement. “If you have any symptoms, and especially if you have a rash, it is best to avoid prolonged physical contact with anyone until you are well.”