First case of monkeypox identified in Maine  

AUGUSTA — The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) identified a case of monkeypox in Maine last week, the first case reported in the state as part of a national and worldwide outbreak.  

The individual is a male resident of York County. No further information about the individual will be released to protect patient privacy. 

A private lab conducted the initial testing that identified this case of monkeypox. Maine CDC is working to identify any others who may have been exposed and make vaccination available to any close contacts.   

“While this is the first case of monkeypox identified in Maine, Maine CDC has been preparing for a case for several weeks given the international outbreak,” said Maine CDC Director Nirav D. Shah. “This disease is rare and the risk to the general public remains low. Maine CDC is working with the individual to identify close contacts and provide them access to vaccination.”  

Maine has received a monkeypox vaccine called Jynneos from the federal government, with sufficient doses to vaccinate 311 people. Maine CDC is making the vaccine available to close contacts of identified cases as well as those at risk of transmitting monkeypox or becoming severely ill.  

Those who believe they may have been exposed or who have a new or unexplained rash or lesions should contact a health care provider to be evaluated, tested and potentially referred to Maine CDC public health nursing for vaccination.    

Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. Monkeypox virus is part of the same family of viruses that causes smallpox. Transmission of monkeypox requires close interaction with a symptomatic person, such as physical, skin-to-skin contact, including during sexual contact. It can cause a rash or sores (pox) and is sometimes preceded by a flu-like illness. Monkeypox can be painful and disfiguring, and in rare cases leads to severe illness and hospitalization. It is rarely fatal. 

Prevention of monkeypox is the best strategy:  

  • Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox.   
  • Do not kiss, hug, cuddle or have sex with a person with monkeypox.  
  • Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with monkeypox.  
  • Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with monkeypox.   
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.   

The current global outbreak of monkeypox began in May. According to the U.S. CDC monkeypox outbreak tracker, as of July 21, there have been 2,593 identified cases of monkeypox across the U.S. and a total of 15,848 cases across 72 countries, globally. 

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