Massachusetts

Monkeypox Cases Count Rises by More Than 33% in Mass. Over the Last Week

In total, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health is aware of 49 monkeypox cases so far this year

Getty Images

Eighteen more cases of monkeypox were confirmed in Massachusetts in the last week, health officials said Thursday.

The total number of cases of the rare virus, currently spreading around the world, has reached 49, an increase of 37% since last week.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health provides monkeypox updates on Thursdays. The agency is giving out the vaccine at clinics in Boston and Provincetown, but with supply limited, there are eligibility limits on who can get them.

We already have vaccines and treatments approved for monkeypox

In total, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported 1,053 monkeypox cases in U.S. residents this year as of Wednesday, the most recent day data was available. There have been no deaths from the illness in the U.S. or internationally as a result of the current outbreak.

What is monkeypox?

Monkeypox was first discovered in 1958, when outbreaks occurred in colonies of monkeys kept for research — resulting in its name.

The first case in a human was reported in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which still has the majority of infections. Other African countries where it has been found: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of the Congo and Sierra Leone.

Human symptoms of monkeypox are similar to but milder than the symptoms of smallpox, the CDC says. It presents itself as a flu-like illness accompanied by lymph-node swelling and rash on the face and body.

Monkeypox starts off with fever, headache, muscle aches, and exhaustion. Monkeypox also causes lymph nodes to swell, something that smallpox does not. The incubation period is usually 7−14 days but can range from 5−21 days.

The CDC is urging healthcare providers in the U.S. to be alert for patients who have rashes consistent with monkeypox, regardless of whether they have traveled or have specific risks for monkeypox. See more information from the travel notice here.

Monkeypox is a rare virus first discovered in 1958.

How do you catch monkeypox?

The CDC issued new monkeypox guidance earlier this month as the number of suspected cases nationwide boomed, marking America's largest-ever outbreak of monkeypox, which typically has been confined to other continents.

While the CDC says the risk to the general public remains low, people are urged to avoid close contact with those who are sick, including those with skin or genital lesions, as well as sick or dead animals. Anyone displaying symptoms, like unexplained skin rash or lesions, should reach out to their healthcare providers for guidance.

What you should do if you think you might have monkeypox

Anyone with a rash that looks like monkeypox should talk to their healthcare provider, even if they don’t think they had contact with someone who has monkeypox. According to the CDC, people who may be at higher risk might include but are not limited to those who:

  1. Had contact with someone who had a rash that looks like monkeypox or someone who was diagnosed with confirmed or probable monkeypox
  2. Had skin-to-skin contact with someone in a social network experiencing monkeypox activity, this includes men who have sex with men who meet partners through an online website, app or social event
  3. Traveled outside the U.S. to a country with confirmed cases of monkeypox or where monkeypox activity has been ongoing
  4. Had contact with a dead or live wild animal or exotic pet that exists only in Africa or used a product derived from such animals
We already have vaccines and treatments approved for monkeypox

What are the symptoms of monkeypox?

Human symptoms of monkeypox are similar to but milder than the symptoms of smallpox, the CDC says. It presents itself as a flu-like illness accompanied by lymph-node swelling and rash on the face and body.

Monkeypox starts off with fever, headache, muscle aches, and exhaustion. Monkeypox also causes lymph nodes to swell, something that smallpox does not. The incubation period is usually 7 to 14 days but can range from 5 to 21 days.

The CDC is urging healthcare providers in the U.S. to be alert for patients who have rashes consistent with monkeypox, regardless of whether they have traveled or have specific risks for monkeypox. See more information from the travel notice here.

Symptoms take 7-14 days to show, but can take up to 21 days to show
Contact Us