Monkeypox is continuing to spread across the United states, with confirmed cases of the virus now found in 27 states and the District of Columbia.
As of Wednesday, there were 351 confirmed cases across the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There have been no deaths so far. Most monkeypox patients experience only fever, body aches, chills and fatigue. People with more serious illness may develop a rash and lesions on the face and hands that can spread to other parts of the body.
According to the CDC, men who have sex with men have so far made up a high number of the cases, though anyone can be infected.
Federal health officials this week expanded their recommendation for who should receive a vaccine for the virus. Until now, the CDC has advised that vaccines be given after exposure to people whom health officials identify as close personal contacts of cases. But on Tuesday, CDC officials said they are expanding the recommendation to people who were never identified but may realize on their own that they may have been infected.
That can include men who have sex with men who have recently had multiple sex partners in a venue where there was known to be monkeypox or in an area where monkeypox is spreading.
On Wednesday, officials in New Hampshire said they had identified the state’s first probable case of the virus in a resident of Rockingham County. Officials are working to identify any close contacts the person may have had. The state’s health department said the CDC was working to confirm the case.
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.