Monkeypox Case Identified in Maryland

A Maryland resident has what officials are investigating as a monkeypox case. Here’s what we know so far

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A Maryland resident has a presumed case of monkeypox, the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) announced Thursday, in collaboration with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

This is the first presumed case of human monkeypox in an adult Maryland resident in the national capital region, officials said.

The patient has mild symptoms and is recovering in isolation. The patient is not hospitalized, the MDH said.

Initial testing was performed at a public health lab. The MDH is awaiting confirmatory testing to be done at the CDC.

Late last month, the CDC identified a case of monkeypox in Virginia. According to current CDC data, cases have been identified in at least 20 states.

"Although human monkeypox is a rare infection in the United States, this Maryland case and other cases in the region and country remind us that we need to be prepared and take steps to prevent infection and its spread," said MDH Deputy Secretary for Public Health Dr. Jinlene Chan in a release. "MDH will continue to work with local and federal public health authorities and communicate responsibly with Maryland residents as we learn more."

More information was not available about the Maryland patient.

Monkeypox is a rare but potentially seriously virus not usually found in the United States. A case was confirmed in Massachusetts on May 18, in the first case found in the U.S. this year.

The CDC is tracking multiple clusters of the virus reported in early and mid-May in countries that don’t usually report monkeypox, including in North America and Europe, the agency said.

"We are telling people this is an emerging issue," Dr. Agam Rao, a medical officer at the CDC’s Division of High Consequence Pathogens and Pathology, told NBC News in a story published May 19. "Some emerging issues end up becoming benign in the end. Other ones escalate. As an emerging issue, we’re asking people to keep it top of mind at the moment."

Smallpox is officially eradicated from the planet, but reserves of the smallpox vaccine could still be useful against a newly emerged disease: monkeypox. UCLA epidemiologist Dr. Anne Rimoin joins LX News and explains how the smallpox vaccine can be used to prevent transmission of monkeypox.

Symptoms can include a rash, fever, exhaustion and swollen lymph nodes. Go here for full info from the CDC.

A case of monkeypox was confirmed last fall in a Maryland resident who had recently returned from Nigeria, state health officials said. 

Stay with NBC Washington for more details on this developing story. 

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