A case of monkeypox confirmed in Maryland

A case of monkeypox has been confirmed in Maryland, and health officials say no special precautions are currently recommended for the public.

A case of monkeypox has been confirmed in Maryland, and health officials say no special precautions are currently recommended for the public.

Monkeypox is in the same family of viruses as smallpox, but generally causes a milder infection, a state health department press release said.

It can be spread among people through direct contact with skin lesions or body fluids, or contaminated materials, such as clothing or linen. Another way it can be spread is through large, respiratory droplets, which health officials say cannot travel more than a few feet and prolonged face-to-face contact would be required.



The person with the confirmed case is a Maryland resident who has just returned from Nigeria. The person has mild symptoms, is isolated and not hospitalized. Public health officials are following people who may have been exposed. They will be monitored for symptoms for 21 days after their discoveries.

“Our response in close coordination with (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) officials demonstrates the importance of maintaining a strong public infrastructure,” said Maryland Department of Health Deputy Secretary of Public Health Dr. Jinlene Chan.

Disease usually begins with flu-like symptoms and swelling of the lymph nodes. Later, it could progress to a widespread rash on the face and body. Infections last between two to four weeks.

Human smallpox infections have rarely been documented outside Africa. They mainly occur in central and West African countries. The Maryland health department said that although all strains of the monkeypox virus can cause infections, those in West Africa, where Nigeria is located, generally cause a less severe disease.

If you have recently returned from the above-mentioned parts of Africa and are developing symptoms, you should call your doctor.

Learn more about monkeypox on the CDC website.

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