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A Maryland resident who recently returned from Nigeria has been diagnosed with the monkeypox virus state health officer, He says that the person is recovering in isolation.

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The Maryland Department of Health did not say where the person lived in the state.

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“Public health officials have identified those people and are continuing to follow up with people who may have been in contact with the diagnosed person,” said Deputy Secretary of Public Health, Dr. Jinlin Chan. “Our response in close coordination with CDC officials demonstrates the importance of maintaining a robust public health infrastructure.”

The Department of Health states that monkeypox is in the same family as smallpox, but causes a mild infection.

It can be spread between people through skin wounds or direct contact with body fluids, or contaminated materials such as clothing or linens. It can also be spread through large respiratory droplets that typically cannot travel more than a few feet, and require prolonged face-to-face contact.

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Monkeypox begins with fever, headache, muscle aches and tiredness. The main difference between the symptoms of chickenpox and monkeypox is that monkeypox causes swollen lymph nodes (lymphadenopathy) whereas chickenpox does not.

Human monkeypox infection occurs mainly in Central and West African countries and is rarely documented outside Africa. Although all strains can cause infection, those that are spreading in West Africa, where Nigeria is located, usually cause less severe disease.

The incubation period (time from infection to symptoms) for monkeypox is usually 7–14 days, but can be as long as 5−21 days.

State health officials said they are working with the CDC on the matter.

Monkeypox was first discovered in 1958 after two outbreaks of a smallpox-like disease in the colonies of monkeys kept for research, hence the name ‘monkeypox’.

The first human case of monkeypox was reported in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, during a period of intense effort to eradicate smallpox. According to the CDC.