This electron microscope image shows mature, oval-shaped monkeypox virions, left, and spherical immature virions, right, obtained from a sample of human skin associated with the 2003 prairie dog outbreak. Credit: Cynthia S. Goldsmith and Russell Regner / U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention via AP

A third case of monkeypox has been identified in Maine, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Details on the case were not publically available on Thursday. One case of monkeypox was confirmed in a man from York County on July 22, and another case was identified in a Penobscot County man on Aug. 1.

Maine has received enough doses of the monkeypox vaccine Jynneos for 311 people. The vaccine will be made available to any close contacts.

The Maine CDC advised anyone who believes they have been exposed or have developed unexplained lesions to contact their doctor for evaluation, testing, and referral for vaccination.

Monkeypox is a rare disease in the same family of viruses that includes smallpox. The virus is transmitted by close contact with a symptomatic patient, including physical, skin-to-skin contact, such as sex, according to the Maine CDC.

Symptoms include rashes, sores and a flu-like illness. Monkeypox can be painful and disfiguring, with serious cases requiring hospitalization. But it is rarely fatal, according to the Maine CDC.

Mainers can protect themselves against infection by avoiding close contact with anyone who appears to have monkeypox-like rash; sharing food, utensils and cups used by an infected patient; handling bedding, towels and clothing used by someone who has been infected; and to wash their hands often with warm water and soap or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.  

The virus has been present in New England since at least May 18, when    the first case was confirmed in Massachusetts. The virus was   confirmed to be in New Hampshire in late June.

As of Aug. 3, 6,617 monkeypox cases have been confirmed across the United States, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Leela Stockley

Leela Stockley is an alumna of the University of Maine. She was raised in northern Maine, and loves her cat Wesley, her puppy Percy and staying active in the Maine outdoors.