CDC issues warning that it is monitoring outbreak across Europe.
Last July, we reported that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) monitored over 200 passengers after a man, who had visited Nigeria and traveled through the bustling Atlanta airport, was stricken with monkeypox.
Monkeypox season started earlier this year as Massachusetts public health officials report that a resident has tested positive for the rare virus.
According to a release from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the patient is an adult male who recently traveled to Canada. The department completed initial testing Tuesday and was confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“The case poses no risk to the public, and the individual is hospitalized and in good condition,” MDPH stated in a press release. “DPH is working closely with the CDC, relevant local boards of health, and the patient’s health care providers to identify individuals who may have been in contact with the patient while he was infectious.”
The CDC is monitoring individuals who were in contact with the infected individual.
It is the first confirmed infection with the virus in the U.S. this year, and comes a day after CDC officials said they were monitoring six potential cases.
These individuals sat within three rows of an infected patient on a flight from Nigeria to the UK on May 4, but the risk that they caught the virus remains ‘low’.
There appears to be no connection between these individuals and the case reported in Massachusetts. It is not clear how the man became infected.
The government bought “millions of doses of a vaccine“:
The order amounts to a $119 million order for Jynneos vaccines, which are used for the prevention of both smallpox and monkeypox. It was announced by biotechnology company Bavarian Nordic, which makes the vaccine, on Wednesday.
The order will convert bulk vaccines, which have already been made and invoiced under previous contracts with the U.S. government, into freeze-dried versions which have an improved shelf-life.
The total government contract with Bavarian Nordic amounts to $299 million, which would provide 13 million freeze-dried doses.
It’s expected that the first doses will be manufactured by next year with further doses made in 2024 and 2025.
There is a growing outbreak of monkeypox worldwide, with over a dozen cases being reported in the United Kingdom, Spain, and Portugal.
Portuguese health authorities on Wednesday confirmed five cases of monkeypox – a rare viral infection related to smallpox – in young men, marking an unusual outbreak in Europe of a disease typically limited to Africa.
Portugal’s General Directorate for Health added it was investigating another 15 suspected cases and that all were identified this month around the capital Lisbon.
All the Portuguese cases involve men, most of them young, authorities said.
They have skin lesions and were reported to be in stable condition. Authorities did not say if the men had a history of travel to Africa or any links with recent cases in Britain or elsewhere.
British health authorities said on Monday they had identified four cases of monkeypox infections in London among gay and bisexual men, bringing the total to seven.
Spain’s Health Ministry said on Wednesday it had also detected eight suspected cases of monkeypox that still needed to be confirmed.
Monkeypox is so named because it was first discovered in 1958 when two outbreaks of a pox-like disease occurred in colonies of monkeys kept for research. The first human case of monkeypox was recorded in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo, during the campaign to eradicate the far deadlier smallpox in the region. Since then, monkeypox has been reported in humans in other central and western African countries.
While symptoms of monkeypox are similar to but milder than the symptoms of smallpox, there are reports that up to one in 10 people die after infection. Observations indicate this one may be more infectious but less severe.
But the virus can also be spread via direct contact with infectious lesions in the skin, or from the coughs and sneezes of someone with a monkeypox rash.
Up to one in 10 cases are fatal, but the strain spreading globally is milder and thought to have a fatality rate of about one in 100 — similar to Covid’s at the start of the pandemic.
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