July 6, 2022

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health confirmed a fourth case of monkeypox in the state on Tuesday afternoon.

The case is in an adult male who is currently isolating, health officials said. Initial testing was completed last Monday at the State Public Health Laboratory in Jamaica Plain and confirmatory testing will be done at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

State health officials said they are working with local health officials, the patient and healthcare providers to identify anyone who might have come into contact with the patient while he was infectious.

Monkeypox typically spreads by skin-to-skin contact, or contact with contaminated clothing or bedding. It’s rarely fatal.

The latest U.S. data indicates there have been nearly 65 cases, including the first case in Massachusetts on May 18. Early cases were associated with international travel, the Department of Public Health said, but recent cases aren’t.

A probable case of monkeypox in Rhode Island was believed to be related to travel to Massachusetts, Rhode Island health officials said last week.

“While we are in this current outbreak, and even though monkeypox remains rare, people are encouraged to be mindful of their health,” Department of Public Health State Epidemiologist Dr. Catherine Brown said in a statement. “If you have any symptoms, and especially if you have a rash, it is best to avoid prolonged physical contact with anyone until you are well.”

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