CDC: Monkeypox case reported in Maryland; 2nd US case this year

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U.S. health officials have confirmed a case of monkeypox in a traveler who returned to the U.S. from Nigeria, the CDC said Nov. 17. This marks the second case in the U.S. this year. 

The person is currently isolated in Maryland as the CDC and the state's health department investigate the case. The agency did not specify which cities, airports or airlines were involved in the person's travel. Since travelers on the U.S.-bound flight were required to wear masks, however, the CDC said, "It's believed the risk of spread of monkeypox virus via respiratory droplets to others on the plane is low." 

"Working with airline and state and local health partners, CDC is assessing potential risks to those who may have had close contact with the traveler on the plane and after their arrival in the United States," the statement said. 

In July, a U.S. resident returning from Nigeria was hospitalized in Dallas with monkeypox. 

In Nigeria, monkeypox reemerged in 2017 after the country went more than 40 years with no reported cases. Since 2017, 218 cases have been confirmed in the West African country, and eight international cases tied to travel from Nigeria have been reported, according to the CDC. 

The illness is in the same family of viruses as smallpox but typically causes a milder infection that lasts two to four weeks. Monkeypox typically starts with flu-like illness and swelling of the lymph nodes, followed by a widespread rash on the face and body. 

Monkeypox, which does not occur naturally in the U.S., is thought to be spread when an individual is bitten or scratched by an animal, prepares wild game or has contact with an infected animal or animal product. It can also be spread through respiratory droplets between people or contact with body fluids, monkeypox sores or contaminated items, according to the CDC. 

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