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US Reports 1st Case of Rare Viral Infection, Monkeypox: What to Know

Fresh cases of monkeypox have been detected in the UK, Spain and Portugal as well.

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Health News
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The United States has confirmed its first case of monkeypox this year, on wednesday, 18 May, according to Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

The patient, a resident of Massachusetts had recently travelled to Canada, and it isn't clear if the case is linked to the outbreak of the viral infection in Europe.

Fresh cases of monkeypox have also been identified in the United Kingdom reported, The Guardian reported. Authorities have said that the cases may have a travel history to Nigeria.

Earlier in 2021, two cases of monkeypox were detected in the UK and Ireland as well. Both the cases were identified in two people from the same household. While India hasn't witnessed any cases of monkeypox, here's everything you need to know.

Monkeypox falls in the same category of viruses as smallpox, according to the WHO. However, it is considered less severe and experts also highlighted that the chances of infection are low.

Monkeypox is a zoonosis, meaning it can be transmitted from animals to humans.

It usually occurs sporadically in forested parts of Central and West Africa. It has two main strains -- West African and Central African. It can be transmitted by contact and droplet exposure via exhaled large droplets. Its incubation period is usually from 6 to 13 days but can range from 5 to 21 days.

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Fever, headaches, swellings, back pain, aching muscles and fatigue are the common symptoms of monkeypox. A rash may develop following a fever often beginning in the face and then spreading to other parts of the body. It usually occurs in the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. The lesions can be very itchy or painful and can be scarring.

The symptoms usually resolve spontaneously within 14-21 days. Milder cases may even go unreported and represent a risk of person-to-person transmission, Livemint reported.

Only six cases of monkeypox, including these two new cases, have been reported in the UK so far.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that currently, there is no proven, safe treatment for monkeypox. For purposes of controlling a monkeypox outbreak in the United States, smallpox vaccine, antivirals, and vaccinia immune globulin (VIG) can be used.

(With inputs from Livemint.)

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