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Massachusetts reports 18 new monkeypox cases, the highest one-week jump yet

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State health officials reported 18 new monkeypox cases on Thursday, the highest one-week count yet as the outbreak spreads across the country.

Meanwhile, the number of health care providers and locations offering monkeypox vaccination across the state is expanding as the feds deliver more vaccine doses.

The 18 new monkeypox cases were diagnosed in men within the past week, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. It brings the total number of monkeypox cases in the state to 49 since the state’s first case was announced in mid-May. That first case was also the country’s first confirmed case.

There have been 1,053 reported cases of monkeypox virus in U.S. residents this year, according to the CDC. That’s a significant jump of 448 cases since last week.

No deaths have been reported related to this global outbreak, and patients generally recover fully in 2 to 4 weeks.

Gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men make up a large proportion of the cases identified to date.

“However, the risk is not limited to the LGBTQ community, and anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has monkeypox is at risk,” DPH said.

Transmission occurs through direct contact with body fluids and monkeypox sores, by touching items that have been contaminated with fluids or sores (clothing, bedding, etc.), or less commonly, through respiratory droplets following prolonged face-to-face contact.

In many of the recent cases, the locations of the rash lesions suggest transmission during sexual contact.

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