Massachusetts Monkeypox patient interacted with 200 people, says CDC

BOSTON — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday they are tracking 200 contacts associated with the monkeypox patient in Boston

Most of those close contacts are health professionals who met the man, who is a patient at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is still the only confirmed case of monkeypox in the United States, although four others are suspected.

The man from Massachusetts had recently traveled to Canada and has been undergoing treatment since May 12.

The CDC is considering releasing a national stockpile of the smallpox vaccine to stop the outbreak.

“I think at this point we hope to maximize vaccine distribution to those that we know will benefit. So that’s people who have had contact with a non-monoppox patient, health professionals, very close personal contact, and those particularly those at high risk for serious disease,” said Dr. Jennifer McQuiston of the CDC Division of High Consequence Pathogens and Pathology.

A team of researchers from Boston Children’s Hospital is help inform the CDC on trends in monkey pox.

“Clearly in recent days we have recognized that this virus has been spreading worldwide for at least a few weeks and has gone undetected to the point where we are now seeing cases popping up in many countries around the world,” said Dr. John Brownstein of Boston Children’s Hospital.

dr. Brownstein emphasizes that there is no serious threat of monkeypox spreading far. So far, the virus has only been transmitted between men who have had intimate sexual contact. Experts hope they’ve discovered it soon enough to stop it from progressing further.

“It’s unlikely to have any sort of impact that we’ve seen with COVID. That said, any emerging infectious disease coming out of animal populations and back to humans is something to worry about, and this virus highlights there is the important need for us to put resources into identifying viruses as early as possible before they become global problems,” said Dr. Brownstein to WBZ TV.

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