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Health officials confirm Connecticut's 1st monkeypox case as outbreak grows

Health officials confirm Connecticut's 1st monkeypox case as outbreak grows
Health officials in Connecticut have confirmed the state's first monkeypox infection. Photo by Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regnery/CDC/Wikimedia Commons

July 6 (UPI) -- Health officials on Tuesday confirmed Connecticut's first case of monkeypox, making it the most recent state to announce an infection amid a growing nationwide outbreak of the rare disease.

The Connecticut Department of Public Health announced its first case of monkeypox was diagnosed in a man in his 40s from New Haven County.

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The patient, who has not been hospitalized, is isolating, it said, adding no further information about the man will be made available to the public.

"DPH believes that the risk to Connecticut residents from this case is low," DPH Commissioner Manisha Juthani said in a statement. "The United States is currently experiencing a monkeypox outbreak and there will likely be additional cases in Connecticut in the weeks ahead."

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Health officials in New Jersey said Tuesday that U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had confirmed Camden County's first infection of the rare virus.

The patient is a resident of Camden County, which borders Pennsylvania, and has recent travel history out of state, it said.

Officials in the county said that they have completed contract tracing, treatment and are investigating the case to ensure there is enough vaccines for all close contacts.

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"Monkeypox is very containable when immediate care has been sought for symptoms," Camden County health officer and public health coordinator Paschal Nwako said in a statement. "There is no need for panic, but we are encouraging residents to stay vigilant and to watch for symptoms.

Monkeypox, which is endemic to several West African nations, was first diagnosed amid the current outbreak in a Massachusetts man mid-May. Since then, the CDC has confirmed as of mid-day Tuesday 560 infections in 34 states and the District of Colombia.

The number of infections have nearly doubled in a week when there were 306 infections.

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The United States last week announced efforts to boost the availability of monkeypox vaccines and testing.

The U.S. outbreak comes as health officials in Europe battle one of their own.

According to a situation report from the World Health Organization late last month, there have been 3,413 laboratory confirmed cases and one death reported to its officials from 50 nations.

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