The Massachusetts Department of Public Health on Sunday reported two more monkeypox cases were reported by . Officials said the two men had close contact with each other, and are not believed to be linked to the state’s first case of monkeypox last month.
Monkeypox typically spreads by skin-to-skin contact, or contact with contaminated clothing or bedding. It's rarely fatal.
"Although monkeypox infections remain rare, and none of the close contacts from Massachusetts’ first case developed monkeypox during their monitoring period, the CDC is reporting that cases continue to rise across the United States," Massachusetts State Epidemiologist Dr. Catherine Brown said in a statement. "It is very important to be aware of the symptoms of monkeypox and to be vigilant. Individuals with concerning rashes should contact their healthcare provider."
The latest U.S. data indicates there have been nearly 50 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.
"The Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) will lead the case investigations and work with DPH, the patients, and their healthcare providers to identify individuals who may have been in contact with the patients while they were infectious. The cases are currently isolating to prevent spread to others," the Department of Public Health said in a statement on the two new Massachusetts cases Sunday.