Officials confirm eight new cases of monkeypox in Massachusetts

The Monkeypox virus
The Monkeypox virus(MGN)
Published: Jun. 30, 2022 at 4:35 PM EDT
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BOSTON, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - The number of monkeypox cases in the Bay State has risen to 21.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health said Thursday that there have been eight additional cases in adult males within the past week. The initial confirmations were made through testing at the state’s Public Health Laboratory in Jamaica Plain.

The first case in Massachusetts was reported on May 18th.

The eight cases announced today had their diagnoses between June 23 and June 29th.

“(The) DPH is working with local health officials, the patients, and healthcare providers to identify individuals who may have been in contact with the patients while they were infectious. All eight individuals are currently isolating to prevent spread to others,” noted the MA Dep. of Public Health in a release sent to Western Mass News Thursday afternoon.

While the virus does not spread easily between people, state health officials say people can spread the infection once they develop symptoms. They say transmission occurs through direct contact with body fluids and monkeypox sores, by touching items that have been contaminated with fluids or sores (clothing, bedding, etc.), or less commonly, through respiratory droplets following prolonged face-to-face contact.

“In many of the recent cases, the locations of the rash lesions suggest transmission during sexual contact,” said the MA DPH in their statement.

So far this year, there have been 351 cases of monkeypox in the United States, according to CDC data.