New York City Health Officials Investigating Possible Monkeypox Case

New York City’s potential case comes one day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the first U.S. monkeypox case of 2022 in Massachusetts

This 2003 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 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. Monkeypox, a disease that rarely appears outside Africa, has been identified by European and American health authorities in recent days.
Monkeypox virions. Photo: Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regner/CDC via AP

Health officials are investigating a possible case of the monkeypox in New York City, just one day after the CDC confirmed the first U.S. case of the virus this year.

On Thursday, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene announced that there was a possible case of monkeypox and the patient is in isolation and being treated at Bellevue Hospital.

"The Health Department's Public Health Lab will conduct preliminary tests, which — if positive — will be sent to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for confirmatory testing," the department said in a statement.

The rare virus, named because it was originally found in colonies of monkeys used for research, first causes fever, headache, muscle aches, chills and swollen lymph nodes, and after one to three days patients develop a rash that spreads over the body.

Monkeypox typically spreads through respiratory droplets, or from touching body fluids or the rashes.

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New York's possible monkeypox infection comes just one day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed its first U.S. case of 2022 on Wednesday after a Massachusetts resident was diagnosed following a trip to Canada.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health said the resident, an adult male, tested positive Tuesday. He has been hospitalized and is in stable condition at Massachusetts General Hospital, remaining in an airborne infection isolation room since last week.

Along with the U.S., the United Kingdom, Canada, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Sweden, Belgium, France and Germany have reported suspected or confirmed cases of the monkeypox outside of Africa. Australia has also confirmed two cases.

Last year, the U.S. saw two separate cases of monkeypox after two individuals contracted the virus while traveling from Nigeria — the first case in July in Texas and the second case in November in Maryland. Monkeypox is most often found in central and West African countries or in travelers coming from those areas.

Prior to 2021, the last cases in the U.S. were from 2003.

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