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D.C. Public Health Lab reported its first potential monkeypox case of the year after a local resident with recent travel to Europe tested positive for the orthopoxvirus, which is in the same family of viruses as monkeypox, according to the press release.
“The collected samples have been sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for further testing and confirmation of the monkeypox virus,” the agency said.
The patient is in isolation and does not pose a risk to the public, D.C. Health added.
The District has not identified any more cases as of this Sunday, per their release.
HUNDREDS OF MONKEYPOX CASES REPORTED WORLDWIDE: WHO
The health agency issued a health advisory on May 26 with clinical recommendations and reporting requirements for health care providers on any suspected cases.
As of June 3, the CDC reports currently 25 confirmed cases of monkeypox in the United States, with the first case reported in Massachusetts earlier this year.
The agency also reports 911 confirmed global cases in 29 countries, with most of the cases in the United Kingdom (225), Spain (186) and Portugal (143), as of June 5.
Monkeypox is a rare virus that is endemic in Africa, but scientists are trying to better understand why so many clusters of cases are cropping up outside the continent in places not known to harbor the virus.
“Monkeypox is a rare but potentially serious viral illness that can be transmitted from person to person through direct contact with body fluid or monkeypox lesions. Less commonly, transmission can occur through respiratory droplets from prolonged face-to-face contact and from contaminated materials such as bedding or clothing,” D.C. Health said.
CDC RAISES MONKEYPOX ALERT TO LEVEL 2, RECOMMENDS MASKS DURING TRAVEL
The time from when a person is exposed to first developing symptoms, also known as the incubation period, ranges from five to 21 days for monkeypox, according to the World Health Organization.
Symptoms include flu-like symptoms followed by a characteristic rash that usually starts on the face, with the duration of illness lasting usually two to four weeks.
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It’s usually a self-limited illness that requires no treatment other than symptomatic care – although the prognosis depends on multiple factors, such as previous vaccination status, an individual’s medical history and health status, according to the CDC.
“It’s not clear how the people were exposed to monkeypox, but early data suggest that gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men make up a high number of cases. However, anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has monkeypox is at risk,” the CDC said.