The Maryland Department of Health, 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 who recently returned from Nigeria.
The patient, who had mild symptoms, is currently recovering in isolation and is not hospitalized.
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 or 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, and prolonged face-to-face contact is required.
In July, the CDC reported a case of monkeypox in a U.S. resident in Texas who had recently returned from Nigeria.
Human monkeypox infections primarily occur in central and western African countries and have only rarely been documented outside of Africa. Although all strains can cause infection, those circulating in western Africa, where Nigeria is located, generally cause less severe disease.