Maryland monkeypox case confirmed: health officials

A Maryland resident who recently returned from Nigeria has been diagnosed with the virus monkeypox, according to state health officials.

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They say the person is recovering in isolation.

The health department did not indicate where the person lives in the state.

READ MORE: What is Monkeypox? What are Monkeypox symptoms? Answers about a rare disease

"Public health authorities have identified and continue to follow up with those who may have been in contact with the diagnosed individual," said MDH Deputy Secretary for Public Health Dr. Jinlene Chan. "Our response in close coordination with CDC officials demonstrates the importance of maintaining a strong public health infrastructure."

Monkeypox is in the same family as smallpox, but causes a milder infection, the health department says.

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The virus can spread through cuts in the skin or through fluids. It can also be carried by contaminated clothing materials, such as clothing or fabrics.

It can also be spread through large respiratory droplets which generally cannot travel more than a few feet, and prolonged face-to-face contact is required. 

Monkeypox begins with fever, headache, muscle aches, and exhaustion. The main difference between symptoms of smallpox and monkeypox is that monkeypox causes lymph nodes to swell (lymphadenopathy) while smallpox does not. 

The incubation period (time from infection to symptoms) for monkeypox is usually 7−14 days but can range from 5−21 days.