Massachusetts man catches monkeypox after traveling to Canada – New York Daily News

A case of monkeypox was confirmed in the United States for the first time this year.

A Massachusetts man who recently traveled to Canada was diagnosed with the disease Tuesday evening, the Massachusetts Department of Health said in a statement Wednesday.

Health officials said the unidentified man had been hospitalized, but there was no risk to the general public.

Canada has not confirmed any monkeypox infections, but Quebec authorities launched an investigation on Wednesday, CBC reported. Health officials in Montreal have already found 13 suspected cases.

Elsewhere, UK health authorities have confirmed nine cases of monkeypox in the UK since May 7. Portugal is also investigating more than a dozen suspected cases.

While monkeypox is similar to smallpox, it is less deadly. According to the CDC, only about 1 in 100 people infected with monkeypox die. In 2003, an epidemic in the United States infected 47 people, but no one died.

Last year, single cases were detected in Texas and Maryland, months apart. In both cases, the person infected with monkeypox had recently traveled to Nigeria. Monkeypox is most prevalent in West Africa.

Although it is called monkeypox, the exact animal that carries the infection is unconfirmed. Monkeypox got its name because it was discovered in laboratory monkeys in the 1950s.

Scientists believe that monkeys often transmit monkeypox to smaller animals, which transmit the virus to humans. The first case detected in humans dates back to 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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