A single case of a monkeypox virus infection was confirmed on Tuesday in a Maryland resident. The report says the individual recently returned home from a visit to Nigeria.
Health officials in Maryland say the person is experiencing mild symptoms and is recovering in isolation, not currently needing hospitalization.
The Maryland Department of Health says that no special precautions are recommended at the current time for the general public.
Dr. Jinlene Chan, the Maryland Health Department's deputy health secretary for public health says, "Public health authorities have identified and continue to follow up with those who may have been in contact with the diagnosed individual. Our response in close coordination with (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) officials demonstrates the importance of maintaining a strong public health infrastructure."
Monkeypox is considered to be in the same family of viruses such as smallpox, but with milder symptoms. It can be transmitted to others via direct contact with skin lesions or bodily fluids or even cloth materials like clothing and linens that have been contaminated. Monkeypox can also be spread via large respiratory droplets but only within a few feet of an individual and also with prolonged face-to-face contact.
Cases of monkeypox in humans are typically seen occurring in central and western Africa but rarely outside of those areas. The illness usually lasts for 2-4 weeks. According to the CDC, about 1 in 10 people who contract the disease die from it.