BOSTON (WPRI) — The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) has reported eight additional monkeypox cases, bringing the state’s total to 21.
The eight new cases were all reported in adult males over the past week, according to the DPH, and they’re all currently isolating. The DPH is working to identify anyone who may have been in contact with them while they were infectious.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that so far, there have been more than 351 cases of monkeypox reported this year. There have been no deaths connected to this outbreak, as monkeypox is rarely fatal.
The United States reported its first monkeypox case in a Massachusetts man back in May. At the time, the DPH said the man had just returned from a trip to Canada.
While earlier cases were connected to international travel, more recent cases aren’t, according to the DPH. Rhode Island reported its first probable case earlier this month, which is believed to be connected to travel to Massachusetts.
The monkeypox virus isn’t easily transmissible among people. The DPH said the virus spreads through direct contact with bodily fluids and monkeypox sores, or by touching items contaminated by infected fluids. It can also be spread through respiratory droplets during prolonged face-to-face contact, though the DPH said it’s not as common.
Early signs of monkeypox infection can include fever, headache, sore throat and swollen lymph nodes. Those symptoms are typically followed by a rash on the face and body.
Most people, according to the DPH, recover from monkeypox within weeks.
The DPH provides monkeypox case count updates weekly. The next update is scheduled for July 7.