Texas and Arizona report their first cases of monkeypox: National tally reaches 35


Arizona and Texas have become the thirteenth and fourteenth states to reported suspected cases of monkeypox, bringing the national tally to 35 cases.

Health officials in the Copper State revealed their first likely case of the rash-causing virus late Tuesday in a man in his late 30s from Maricopa County — which includes its capital and largest city Phoenix. It was not clear how he caught the disease.

In the Lone Star State, a suspected case was reported in Dallas — its third largest city — in a patient who had returned within the last month from an area ‘also reporting monkeypox’. A ‘few people’ are also being monitored for the illness.

A total of four cases were spotted nationwide on Tuesday— with one also in New York City and Sacramento, California.

Experts warn there are likely already hundreds of monkeypox infections in the U.S., because many are being missed due to mild infections and the arduous testing process.

Infections with the rash-causing virus in America are mostly being detected among gay and bisexual men and linked to international travel. But at least two cases are not linked to travel or a known case, suggesting the virus is spreading undetected.

It comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) yesterday U-turned on guidance for travelers in areas with monkeypox cases to wear face masks — just 13 hours after it was reported by the media. The agency later clarified it made the change because the advice was ‘sparking confusion’.

A 35-year-old HR manager from London, England, also became the first patient in the current outbreak to come forward. James, who is gay, said he likely caught monkeypox from one of his 10 sexual partners over recent weeks.

America has now detected a total of 35 cases across 14 states and Washington D.C., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says

All four patients detected on Tuesday are now in isolation and recovering, while contact tracing is underway.

Revealing the new case in Arizona, the state’s medical director for disease control Dr Rebecca Sunenshine said the virus was still ‘rare’ in the U.S.

‘[We] are working closely with local health departments throughout Arizona to identify and respond quickly to any potential cases,’ she said.

America already has 300 monkeypox cases — almost ten times official tally, expert says 

America may already have as many as 300 cases of monkeypox — more than nine times the official tally of 31 — but has missed hundreds due to a lack of testing, an expert warned Monday.

Dr Boghuma Titanji, an infectious diseases expert at Emory University in Georgia, claimed the U.S. likely already has the same number of infections as the UK — which is currently the world’s monkeypox hotspot.

But she said the arduous process of checking swabs — which must be sent to one of 74 local labs and then the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for confirmation — was leading to too few being done and many being missed.

Other experts say infections may not be detected because cases can be mild and clear up on their own, leading to patients not coming forward, or get misdiagnosed as a sexually transmitted disease like syphilis.

Titanji told STAT News: ‘The U.S. probably has as many cases as Canada or the UK.

‘We’re just not testing enough to be able to reliably say that there are only 25 cases. I think we need to be testing way more than we’re doing.’

‘It is important to note that monkeypox is highly controllable through simple precautions.’

In Texas, officials said the disease does ‘not currently present a risk to the general public’.

All cases have tested positive for orthopox viruses — the family of viruses that include monkeypox and smallpox.

They will now be sent for confirmatory testing at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), although it is overwhelmingly likely they have the virus.

New York City is currently the national hotspot for monkeypox cases, having reported eight to date.

It was followed by California where seven have been reported — mostly in Sacramento County, and linked to its first case.

Other states that have reported monkeypox are: Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia and Washington.

Washington D.C. has also detected a suspected case of the virus.

Monkeypox — which is native to West Africa — normally triggers a mild infection, but in around one in 100 cases it can prove fatal.

Patients tend to experience a fever within the first 21 days of being infected, medical literature suggests — before a rash appears on the face and then spreads to the rest of the body.

But CDC officials say in the current outbreak patients are experiencing a rash in the genital area first, which then spreads to the rest of the body.

People can only pass on the virus when they have symptoms, and normally transmit it when another touches an infectious skin lesion.

In rare cases it can also be spread through breathing in droplets expelled by a patient which are laced with the virus.

Infections clear up within two to four weeks, but a patient remains infectious for as long as they have the lesions.

On Tuesday an expert warned America may already have 300 cases — almost ten times the official tally — but that many cases were being missed due to a lack of testing.

Dr Boghuma Titanji, an infectious diseases expert at Emory University in Georgia, claimed the U.S. likely already has the same number of infections as the UK — which is currently the world’s monkeypox hotspot.

But she said the arduous process of checking swabs — which must be sent to one of 74 local labs and then the CDC for confirmation — was leading to too few being done and many being missed.

Other experts say infections may not be detected because cases can be mild and clear up on their own, leading to patients not coming forward, or get misdiagnosed as a sexually transmitted disease like syphilis.

Warning there may be hundreds of cases of the tropical disease in the country, Titanji told STAT News: ‘The U.S. probably has as many cases as Canada or the UK.

‘We’re just not testing enough to be able to reliably say that there are only 25 cases. I think we need to be testing way more than we’re doing.’

Titanji spoke to the publication before the tally was updated to 31 cases across 12 states and Washington D.C.

The infection often starts with small bumps that scab over and are contagious

The infection often starts with small bumps that scab over and are contagious

Officials are urging gay and bisexual men to be aware of new lesions, rashes or scabs and get in contact with a sexual health clinic. They have released these images of cases to alert people to the virus' symptoms

Officials are urging gay and bisexual men to be aware of new lesions, rashes or scabs and get in contact with a sexual health clinic. They have released these images of cases to alert people to the virus’ symptoms

Yesterday DailyMail.com revealed the first patient in the current monkeypox outbreak to come forward — named only as James M.

The London-based HR manager said he tested positive for the virus after being deported from Dubai for testing positive for HIV.

He slammed British health chiefs for ‘a real lack of any basic process or care to stop the spread’ of the tropical virus, which has so far infected more than 300 Britons, mostly gay and bisexual men.

James M, 35, has become the first British monkeypox patient to go public

James M, 35, has become the first British monkeypox patient to go public

James — who wished to keep his surname anonymous — admitted he is not following self-isolation rules because ‘I was told to stay home until UKHSA contacted me… and they never did.’

He accused the UK of having a lackadaisical approach to contact tracing, saying it was ‘no wonder’ Britain had more cases than any other country outside of Africa. There is also a lack of awareness about monkeypox’s lesser-known symptoms, he claimed.

James was readjusting to life in west London when he began suffering from ‘really weird aches’ in his lower back, exhaustion, extreme thirst and pain when he used the toilet.

He became convinced he had a sexually transmitted infection (STI) after sleeping with around 10 new partners in the weeks before his symptoms started.

‘I’m a gay man, and having just come back to the UK, I was having a good time,’ he told MailOnline.

But medics wrongly assumed it wasn’t monkeypox because he didn’t have the virus’ tell-tale rash.

James had just returned from Dubai, where being gay is illegal, after four years following a ‘shock’ HIV diagnosis in February. It saw him lose his job and home.

After contacting his local STI clinic in west London, James was sent for tests at a specialist center in Soho on May 25 and was told to avoid public transport or close contact with others.

He admitted he is not following self-isolation rules because 'I was told to stay home until UKHSA contacted me... and they never did'

James was readjusting to life in west London when he began suffering from 'really weird aches' in his lower back, exhaustion, extreme thirst and pain when he used the toilet

He admitted he is not following self-isolation rules because ‘I was told to stay home until UKHSA contacted me… and they never did’

It comes after the CDC yesterday backtracked on its advice for Americans to wear face masks while visiting countries reporting cases of monkeypox.

Late yesterday the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) deleted this guidance from its website — just 13 hours after it was reported by the media.

A spokeswoman for the agency told DailyMail.com today that it was removed because of concerns it was ‘causing confusion’.

They stressed that the advice to wear coverings was ‘specifically for people who are traveling’ rather than the general public, and added that any future updates would be accompanied by a public announcement.

The CDC had quietly added advice to wear coverings to its Level 2 travel alert — encouraging ‘enhanced precautions’ abroad — six days ago. It was only picked up by Fox News late on Monday, alongside other outlets including CNBC and this website.

An expert said today it was ‘unfortunate’ that the CDC had put up and removed the advice, because it was bound to further harm public trust in the agency. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk