A single case of monkeypox virus was reported Tuesday in Maryland after a resident recently returned from Nigeria.
The patient had mild symptoms and is recovering in isolation. The patient was not hospitalized, according to WBAL-TV.
Maryland Department of Health officials said they identified potential close contacts who may need to be treated if the virus spreads.
- “Public health authorities have identified and continue to follow up with those who may have been in contact with the diagnosed individual,” Dr. Jinlene Chan, the Maryland Department of Health’s deputy secretary for public health, said in a statement, per WBAL-TV. “Our response in close coordination with (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) officials demonstrates the importance of maintaining a strong public health infrastructure.”
What is monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a smallpox-like disease that often spreads within monkey colonies. But it can be found in humans, too. A lot of cases have popped up in Central and Western African countries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
What are the top monkeypox virus symptoms?
As I wrote for the Deseret News, the top monkeypox symptoms include:
- Muscle ache.
- Swollen lymph nodes.
Why are we talking about monkeypox?
There was a brief monkeypox scare in July 2021 when a Dallas resident traveled home to Texas from Nigeria. The traveler had gone from Nigeria to Atlanta and then from Atlanta to Dallas.
- The patient was hospitalized with monkeypox soon after and later released.
- But the CDC ended its monitoring by August.
Should you worry about monkeypox?
According to the CDC, “There is no proven, safe treatment for monkeypox virus infection.”
- However, the U.S. has contained small outbreaks in the past.
- In previous outbreaks, health officials used the smallpox vaccine, as well as some antiviral medication and the vaccinia immune globulin (VIG), to stop the spread, per the CDC.