PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WHDH) - The first probable Ocean State case of monkeypox has been identified.

The patient is a male in his thirties who lives in Providence County. That person’s positive test is pending at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The patient likely contracted the illness after traveling to Massachusetts. He’s hospitalized and remains in good condition.

The Rhode Island Department of Health is working to contact trace and find people who may have been exposed to this man while he was infectious. These contacts will be monitored for three weeks after their last day of exposure to the patient.

“While monkeypox is certainly a concern, the risk to Rhode Islanders remains low – even with this finding,” said Interim Health Director Dr. James McDonald. “Monkeypox is a known – and remains an exceedingly uncommon – disease in the United States. Fortunately, there is a vaccine for monkeypox that can be given before or after exposure to help prevent infection.”

The Rhode Island DPH noted that monkeypox does not spread easily through casual contact. Human-to-human transmission occurs through direct contact with body fluids, including the rash caused by the ailment or close face-to-face contact. The time from exposure to symptoms is usually 5 to 21 days.

Symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches, exhaustion and swollen lymph nodes, with the first symptom often being a facial rash. Most people recover with no treatment needed.

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