(WWLP) – After the Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced another monkeypox case, the Northampton Department of Health and Human Services offers precautions individuals can take to avoid the virus.
According to a news release sent to 22News by the Massachusetts DPH, this is the fourth case in the past month. In total, the CDC reported 65 cases within the U.S., as confirmed on May 18.
As of now, there have been no deaths reported, and those that become infected recover within 2-4 weeks. DPH is working to identify individuals who may have been in contact with the patient. Those who are identified are to be isolated to avoid spreading it to others.
The Northampton Department of Health and Human Services explained how cases have been involved with international travel. They also mentioned how the large portion of cases were from gay and bisexual men, but the risk isn’t limited to the LGBTQ community. “Anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has monkeypox is at risk,” Northampton Department of Health and Human Services said. “While the virus does not spread easily between people, people can spread the infection once they develop symptoms.”
For the virus to develop and spread there are certain symptoms to be cautious of that the Northampton Department of Health and Human Services indicated. Which includes, 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 recent cases, the locations of the rash lesions suggest transmission during sexual contact.
Monkeypox can spread through direct skin-skin contact with rash lesions, sexual/intimate contact, including kissing while a person is infected, living in a house and sharing a bed with someone, sharing towels or unwashed clothing, and respiratory secretions through face-to-face interactions.
If an individual notices rash lesions appearing on their skin, they may begin to find a few to a large portion. Any rash lesions will start flat, become raised, fill with clear fluid, and then become filled with pus.
“While we are in this current outbreak, and even though monkeypox remains rare, people are encouraged to be mindful of their health,” said DPH State Epidemiologist Dr. Catherine Brown. “If you have any symptoms, and especially if you have a rash, it is best to avoid prolonged physical contact with anyone until you are well.”
The Northampton Department of Health and Human Services recommends avoiding close contact in large gatherings such as raves and dance parties. Also, ask any partner their health status and recent travel history.