A Massachusetts patient has been confirmed to have been infected with monkeypox, one of the few known US cases since a 2003 outbreak. The news comes amid a broader outbreak, with cases thus far reported in Canada, the UK, Spain, Portugal, and Italy.
Related to smallpox, the disease primarily affects monkeys and rodents and can be transmitted to humans through scratches and bites from animals or from eating contaminated bushmeat. Human-to-human transmission is believed to be relatively low. Studies in African communities have shown a fatality rate of up to 10%, though experts say the figure varies greatly from patient to patient, including adequate access to treatment.
See a Q&A with an epidemiologist about the disease here.