A young Mainer has been confirmed to have been infected with monkeypox.
This 2003 electron microscope image made available shows mature, oval-shaped monkeypox virions, left, and spherical immature virions, right, obtained from a sample of human skin associated with a prairie dog outbreak. Credit: Cynthia S. Goldsmith and Russell Regner / CDC via AP

A young Mainer has been infected with the monkeypox virus.

It’s the first time a case has been reported in a Mainer under age 18 since the global outbreak began in the spring, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Maine CDC said Friday it will not be releasing further information about the case, citing patient privacy. The agency is working to identify close contacts and anyone who may have been exposed.

To date, there have been at least three confirmed cases of the virus in Maine: two in Aroostook County and one in York County, according to state data. The first case was reported in July.

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 late June.

So far, there have been 202 cases in Massachusetts, 57 in Connecticut, 31 in Rhode Island, 15 in New Hampshire and one in Vermont, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At least two states — California and Florida — have confirmed cases in people under age 18.