BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A Washington, D.C., resident who recently traveled to Europe marks the District’s first confirmed case of orthopox, the parent virus of monkeypox, authorities said Monday.
The positive orthopox diagnosis was confirmed Saturday by the DC Public Health Lab, and the patient’s samples have been sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for additional testing.READ MORE: Maryland Gas Tax Hikes 7 Cents Friday, Gov. Hogan Calls For Another Tax Holiday
The unnamed patient is isolating and “does not pose a risk to the public,” according to the health department. Authorities are working to identify close contacts, but no additional cases have been detected in D.C.
Health officials are treating the positive diagnosis as a potential case of monkeypox, a “rare but potentially serious viral illness” that can spread most frequently through “direct contact with body fluid” or lesions.READ MORE: Gun Spotted In Driver's Car Before Baltimore Officer Dragged, Court Documents Say
The CDC is monitoring nine confirmed human cases of monkeypox in the U.S. amid worldwide concerns about the virus, which has already produced nine cases in the United Kingdom.
Monkeypox symptoms can include a headache, muscle aches, fever and flu-like symptoms, which tend to precede a rash and lesions associated with the virus, according to the CDC.MORE NEWS: Ex-Baltimore Fiscal Chief Pleads Not Guilty To Fraud, Identity Theft Charges
Besides direct contact with body fluids and lesions, monkeypox has at time spread through “respiratory droplets from prolonged face-to-face contact” in addition to contact with contaminated materials, such as clothing.