United States: Case of monkeypox confirmed in a Massachusetts resident

United States.- The Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are investigating a confirmed case of monkeypox in the United States.

On May 17, 2022, skin lesions that had several features suspicious for monkeypox (firm, well-circumscribed, deep, and umbilicated lesions) on a Massachusetts resident prompted specialized Laboratory Response Network (LRN) testing of specimens. of swab collected from the resident.

Preliminary tests confirmed the presence of DNA compatible with an orthopoxvirus using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays of generic Orthopoxviruses and non-variola Orthopoxviruses.

This group of viruses includes the monkeypox virus (the causative agent of monkeypox). Testing at the CDC on May 18 confirmed that the patient was infected with a West African strain of monkeypox virus.

Cases of monkeypox have previously been identified in travelers from, or residents of, West African or Central African countries where monkeypox is considered endemic.

CDC is issuing this Health Alert Network (HAN) health advisory to ask physicians in the United States to be on the lookout for the characteristic rash associated with monkeypox.

The suspicion of monkeypox should be increased if the rash occurs in people:

  1. Traveled to countries with recently confirmed cases of monkeypox
  2. They report having contact with a person or persons who have a similar-appearing rash or received a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of monkeypox. monkey pox
  3. You are a man who regularly has close or intimate in-person contact with other men, including those you meet through an online website, a digital application (“app”), or at a bar or party.

Lesions may be widespread or localized only to the genital or perianal area. Some patients may present with proctitis and their disease may be clinically confused with a sexually transmitted infection (STI) such as syphilis or herpes, or with varicella zoster virus infection.

Since May 14, 2022, clusters of monkeypox cases have been reported in several countries that normally do not have monkeypox.

Although previous cases outside of Africa have been associated with travel from Nigeria, most recent cases do not have exposure risks associated with direct travel.

Monkeypox cases in the world

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) was the first to announce on May 7, 2022 the identification of a recent case in the UK that occurred in a traveler returning from Nigeria.

On May 14, 2022, UKHSA announced an unrelated cluster of monkeypox cases in two people living in the same household with no recent travel history.

On May 16, 2022, the UKHSA announced a third group of temporarily grouped cases involving four people who identify themselves as gay, bisexual or men who have sex with men (MSM), none of whom have ties to the three previously diagnosed patients.

Some evidence suggests that cases among MSM may be linked epidemiologically; patients in this group were identified in sexual health clinics.

We recommend you read:

  • What are the symptoms of monkeypox and how is it treated?
  • Monkeypox: no treatment or vaccine, says WHO
  • Monkeypox increases: cases detected in Sweden and Italy and WHO gives alarm for contact tracing

It should be noted that the CDC clarifies that this is an ongoing investigation and public health authorities expect to learn more about exposure routes in the coming days.