There are now two confirmed cases of the monkeypox virus in Minnesota, with the state health department on Tuesday identifying the second case just over 24 hours after the first case was announced Monday.
According to the Minnesota Department of Health, the second case involved a man from the Twin Cities area who has no connection to the first case. This person, however, “appears also to have been infected after traveling outside of Minnesota.”
More cases are expected in the coming days.
“While we do expect to see some additional cases in the next few days or weeks, it’s important to remember that monkeypox is not as infectious and does not spread in the same way as COVID or influenza, but requires skin-to-skin contact or prolonged face-to-face contact, exchange of body fluids, etc.,” the health department told Bring Me The News.
Minnesota’s neighboring states – Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin – have yet to confirm a case of monkeypox, but 27 states and the Washington, D.C., have for a total of 306 cases nationwide.
Worldwide, the CDC says there are 4,769 cases of monkeypox, as of June 28. Of the 49 countries it has been detected, the United States has the sixth most documented cases, trailing France (330), Portugal (373), Spain (800), Germany (838) and the United Kingdom (1,076).
The patient connected to the first monkeypox case in Minnesota “likely” contracted the virus while traveling abroad. He had recently been in Europe before returning to the U.S., the health department noted.
“While the threat of monkeypox generally remains low, it’s important that everyone be aware of this disease, so that those at risk can seek medical care and get tested promptly if they believe they have symptoms,” Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said Monday.
Monkeypox symptoms can include:
- Muscle aches
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Rash that can look like pimples or blisters on the face and other parts of the body
- Rash can occur in the mouth, and there may be sores in the genital and anal areas
Most people recover at home within 2-4 weeks. Malcolm noted that many people who contract monkeypox are able to recover on their own without hospitalization.
“It’s important to note that monkeypox is less infectious than COVID-19, measles, chicken pox and influenza,” Malcolm noted.
According to the CDC, monkeypox most commonly spreads through direct contact with infectious rash, scabs or bodily fluids. Respiratory secretions during prolonged face-to-face contact can also spread the virus, namely through physical contact including kissing, cuddling and sex.