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Nigeria's Monkeypox Outbreak Reaches Maryland

November 17, 2021 • 7:57 am CST
(Vax Before Travel)

The Maryland Department of Health MDH), in collaboration with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), confirmed a single case of monkeypox virus infection in a Maryland resident on November 17, 2021.

This individual recently returned from Nigeria.

The traveler is currently recovering in isolation and is not hospitalized.

Furthermore, the MDH says 'no special precautions are recommended at this time for the general public.'

However, everyone identified as having been potentially exposed to this case will be monitored for symptoms of monkeypox for 21 days after exposure. 

"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 in a press release.

Monkeypox is in the same family of viruses as smallpox but generally causes a milder infection.

It can be spread between people through direct contact with skin lesions, body fluids, or contaminated materials such as clothing or linens. It can also be spread through large respiratory droplets, which generally cannot travel more than a few feet, requiring prolonged face-to-face contact. Most infections last 2-4 weeks.

Human monkeypox infections primarily occur in central and western African countries and have rarely been documented outside Africa. 

The U.K. and other countries have reported similar travel-related monkeypox cases.

Travelers returning from central or western Africa are advised to notify their health care provider if they develop symptoms of monkeypox, particularly flu-like illness, swollen lymph nodes, or rash. In addition, clinicians are urged to maintain a high index of suspicion for clinically compatible conditions. 

From a prevention perspective, the JYNNEOS (IMVANEX, IMVAMUNE) vaccine was Approved in 2019 by the U.S. FDA and remains the only FDA-approved monkeypox vaccine for non-military use.

JYNNEOS is known as IMVANEX or IMVAMUNE in various countries.