CDC: Monkeypox case confirmed in Maryland

National News

BONDUA, LIBERIA – UNDATED: In this 1971 Center For Disease Control handout photo, monkeypox-like lesions are shown on the arm and leg of a female child in Bondua, Liberia. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said June 7 the viral disease monkeypox, thought to be spread by prairie dogs, has been detected in the Americas for the first time with about 20 cases reported in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana. (Photo Courtesy of the CDC/Getty Images)

(WTAJ) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Wednesday that a traveler who returned to the U.S. from Nigeria tested positive for monkeypox.

Monkeypox is a rare, but potentially serious viral illness that typically begins with flu-like illness and swelling of the lymph nodes and progresses to a widespread rash on the face and body, the CDC said. It was first discovered in 1958 in colonies of monkeys kept for research. The first human case was recorded in 1970.

The Maryland resident, who laboratory scientists confirmed has monkeypox, is currently in isolation. They also noted that results match the strain that has been re-emerging in Nigeria since 2017.

Right now, the CDC is working with international health counterparts, the airline as well as state and local health officials in Washington, D.C., to contact other passengers that were onboard the same plane as the patient. They’re also assessing health risks to those who were in close contact with the traveler.

However, officials noted the risk of spreading the monkeypox virus via respiratory droplets to others on the plane is low given that they were wearing masks per COVID-19 safety guidelines.

Still, healthcare providers are to be vigilant to pox virus-like lesions, especially among travelers returning from Nigeria. Suspected cases should immediately be reported to state or local public health authorities.

For more than 40 years, there were no reported cases in Nigeria, according to the CDC. However, that changed in 2017.

Since then, 218 cases have been confirmed and eight cases have been reported in international travelers from Nigeria, including the one in Texas in July as well as the current case, the CDC noted.

For more information on monkeypox, head to the CDC’s website.

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