The city’s health department announced Friday night that a New York City resident has tested positive for the virus that causes monkeypox.
The administration said the unidentified patient is being isolated and the case is being treated as positive pending final confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control.
New York City public health officials said Thursday they are investigating two possible cases of monkeypox, a rare virus rarely seen outside of Africa that can cause flu-like symptoms.
The state health department said tests have ruled out the other case.
The apparent infection in New York comes as the World Health Organization has identified about 80 cases worldwide and about 50 more suspected. Massachusetts health officials confirmed the first case of monkeypox on May 18.
State and New York City officials will try to determine how the New York patient became infected. The city’s epidemiologists began calling people who might have had contact with this person.
The virus originates in primates and other wild animals and causes fever, body aches, chills, and fatigue in most patients. People with severe cases can develop rashes and lesions on the face, hands, and other parts of the body.
The Ministry of Health advises the use of masks that can protect against this virus and others such as COVID-19. Anyone who has flu-like symptoms with swollen lymph nodes and a rash is also asked to contact their doctor.
Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with a virus related to those that cause smallpox and cowpox. It was first discovered in 1958, when the disease broke out in colonies of monkeys preserved for research, giving rise to its name.
The first human case of infection was reported in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which still has the majority of infections. Other African countries in which it was found: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of the Congo and Sierra Leone.
Reported cases outside Africa have generally been linked to international travel or imported animals.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urges US health care providers to be vigilant about patients who develop a rash compatible with monkeypox, regardless of whether they have traveled or are at risk of contracting it.
However, health officials say the risks to the general population remain low.
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