Maryland resident returns from Nigeria with case of monkeypox

National News

Dr. Danny G. Mead, an assistant research scientist in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia, works with vials containing mosquitoes, which were caught last week in Albany, Ga., in the Wildlife Health building on the university campus in Athens, Ga. on Wednesday, April 7, 2004. About 75 percent of all new diseases, including those from major outbreaks such as SARS, bird flu and monkeypox, have come from animals. As a result, veterinarians and other animal disease researchers increasingly are needed to help in the fight against emerging infectious diseases. (AP Photo/Allen Sullivan)

MARYLAND — Health officials in Maryland are investigating a case of monkeypox in a traveler who recently returned to the United States from another country.

Scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the patient, who had returned from a trip to Nigeria, had monkeypox.

The person’s infection matched the strain that has been reemerging in Nigeria since 2017, according to officials.

They are currently in isolation in Maryland.

The CDC is working with international health counterparts, the airline and health officials in the Washington D.C. area to contact airline passengers and others who may have been in close contact with the person.

It is believed the risk of spread is low because travelers on the flight to the United States were required to wear masks. 

The CDC advised health care providers to be vigilant to poxvirus-like lesions, particularly among travelers who returned from Nigeria.

Monkeypox is a rare but potentially serious viral illness that typically begins with flu-like illness and swelling of the lymph nodes and progresses to a widespread rash on the face and body.

The viral disease reemerged in Nigeria in 2017 after more than 40 years with no reported cases. Since then 218 cases have been confirmed in Nigeria and eight cases have been reported in international travelers from Nigeria, including a case in Texas in July 2021.

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