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Monkeypox is in Massachusetts, but majority of cases are not on Cape Cod

Monkeypox symptoms can include fever, headache, muscle aches and a rash or sores.

The state Department of Public Health announced eight new monkeypox cases in its weekly update on the virus on Thursday. That makes 21 since the first Massachusetts case was reported in May. But there’s some good news here for Cape Cod.

People in Provincetown are thinking back to last summer’s COVID-19 outbreak and asking on social media about the monkeypox case count.

The town held a forum on prevention Tuesday.

Now State Epidemiologist Catherine Brown says Cape Cod does not have a cluster of infection.

"We're not sharing a ton of details. What I can tell you is that the overwhelming majority of cases are not on Cape Cod," Brown said.

Many of the recent cases are believed to stem from sexual contact, but that’s not the only way to get it.

The virus can be transmitted by contact with the pimple-like rash, body fluids, or contaminated bedding or clothes.

Less often, it can come from prolonged face-to-face contact.

Brown says people should be aware that the classic flu-like symptoms aren’t always the first sign.

"Maybe they're just so mild that nobody is recognizing them. And in some cases, the rash is actually the first symptom."

Monkeypox usually resolves on its own after a few weeks and is rarely fatal.

Jennette Barnes is a reporter and producer. Named a Master Reporter by the New England Society of News Editors, she brings more than 20 years of news experience to CAI.