CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) — The first case of the Monkeypox virus has been confirmed in Massachusetts. According to health experts, Monkeypox usually starts with flu-like symptoms and swelling of the lymph nodes. It then progresses to a rash on the face and the body.

It’s important to note the virus is not easily transmitted between people. Transmission can occur with the contact of body fluids, bites, and scratches from small rodents, or contact with an infected animal.

Since the beginning of May, Monkeypox has also been identified in the U.K., Spain, and Portugal. The U.K. has detected nine cases so far and 20 have been found in Portugal.

Monkeypox Signs and Symptoms

According to the CDC, the first signs are fever, headache, muscle aches, and exhaustion. The person infected develops a rash that starts on the face and spreads. Monkeypox typically lasts for two to four weeks.

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Backache
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Chills
  • Exhaustion

Tips to prevent Monkeypox

The following information provided by the CDC are steps to help prevent being infected with Monkeypox:

  • Avoid contact with animals that could harbor the virus (including animals that are sick or that have been found dead in areas where monkeypox occurs).
  • Avoid contact with any materials, such as bedding, that have been in contact with a sick animal.
  • Isolate infected patients from others who could be at risk for infection.
  • Practice good hand hygiene after contact with infected animals or humans. For example, washing your hands with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Use personal protective equipment (PPE) when caring for patients.

Monkeypox is a rare but potentially serious viral illness first reported in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The CDC says there is no proven, safe treatment for Monkeypox. To prevent an outbreak, the smallpox vaccine, antivirals, and vaccinia immune globulin can be used.