US Monkeypox Count Hits Double Digits as Colorado Investigates Teen’s Case
Colorado officials are investigating a suspected case of monkeypox in a ‘young’ gay or bisexual man who recently returned from Canada, with the state becoming the eighth to report a suspected case of the virus.
Local health chiefs revealed late Thursday that the person arrived at a clinic in the Denver area, the state’s largest city, with symptoms of the virus.
The patient, who has not been identified, is now isolating at home and contact tracing. The risk that the virus has spread to others is thought to be “low”.
It brings the US monkeypox count to 10 cases in eight states, amid warnings that the virus may now be spreading within US borders.
The vast majority of infections are in gay and bisexual men, and most are believed to be related to international travel.
Experts in Europe, where most cases are being detected, say the outbreak there may have been sparked by unprotected sex at two mass gatherings in Spain and Belgium.
Globally, more than 300 cases have been detected in more than two dozen countries.
Colorado today became the eighth state to report a case of monkeypox, as the count of confirmed and suspected infections rises into double digits.
Dr. Rachel Herlihy, Colorado’s top epidemiologist, said, “We want to assure Coloradans that the risk to the public is low.”
‘But we also want them to know the symptoms so that we can detect other cases as soon as possible.
‘We are grateful for the collaborative efforts of [health chiefs] in knowing, treating and investigating this case.’
Domestic hamsters could be euthanized to stop the spread of monkeypox in Europe
Pets could be euthanized to protect them from monkeypox under “last resort” guidelines drawn up by health officials.
Hamsters, gerbils and guinea pigs could be ordered euthanized if they cannot be isolated, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has admitted.
Rodents have been identified as carriers of the disease in West and Central Africa.
The ECDC said it is “theoretically possible” that people in Europe could transmit monkeypox to their domestic pets, which could then act as a reservoir and pass it on to humans.
The patient’s swabs will now be sent to a laboratory run by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for testing to confirm infection.
It was not clear if the case was related to the one in Massachusetts, who had also recently returned from a trip to Canada.
The agency revealed yesterday that all other reported cases had now been confirmed as monkeypox.
This includes two each in Florida and Utah, and one each in California, Massachusetts, New York City, Virginia and Washington.
Canada has now reported more than 26 cases of monkeypox with all but one case in Quebec, in nearby Ontario.
Monkeypox is a rare virus that is normally only found in West Africa, although it has recently spread to Europe and North America.
It is mainly transmitted through skin-to-skin contact with infectious lesions and rashes in patients, which can appear all over the body, including the genital area.
Most cases are mild, but about one in 100 lead can lead to a fatality, estimates suggest.
Treatment focuses on vaccinating close contacts against smallpox, which can also build immunity against smallpox because they are closely related.
Medications may also be given to help reduce symptoms.
Experts have warned for years that an outbreak of this disease was inevitable because immunity levels against smallpox had dropped substantially.
The United States was vaccinating everyone against this disease until the early 1970s, when the shots managed to beat the virus into submission. The scheme was then abandoned in other nations.
But this has now left people under the age of 50 with little immunity to monkeypox.
It comes as a UK scientist warns that monkeypox may now be endemic in the UK and Europe forever as the virus normally confined to Africa continues to spread globally.
Dr. Adam Kucharski, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said the current outbreak was unlikely to become a pandemic like Covid because it spreads through prolonged close contact.
Health chiefs have warned that monkeypox, a virus endemic to parts of Africa and known for its rare and unusual rashes, bumps and lesions, could also spread to some pets and become endemic in Europe. Undated handout file image issued by the UK Health Security Agency of the stages of Monkeypox
But the epidemiologist, who is also a member of the UK’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), warned that the “biggest risk” is that cases “will not be eliminated in some places”.
He said any persistent transmission increases the risk that the virus, closely related to smallpox, could be transmitted to pets, meaning there will be permanent reservoirs of infection, as is the case in Africa.
EU health chiefs have already recognized this threat and are considering culling all hamsters, gerbils and guinea pigs owned by monkeypox patients.
In the UK, officials are also expected to issue guidance telling infected Britons to stay away from family pets.
Monkeypox has now been identified in all four nations of the UK, as the number of confirmed domestic cases yesterday rose to 90. A disproportionate number are found among gay and bisexual men.
Twenty countries around the world have been affected by the current outbreak, with Finland today becoming the latest to confirm an infection. Argentina, Bolivia and Sudan are investigating suspected cases.
Until now, cases outside West and Central Africa have been limited to a handful of people with travel links to the