An unidentified resident of New York City has tested positive for the virus that causes monkeypox, according to state health officials on Saturday, May 21.
The patient is currently isolated while the positive test result awaits the Center for Disease Control or CDC's final confirmation.
New York Resident Test Positive for Monkeypox
State officials added that the testing ruled out another potential case in New York City that public health authorities had discussed on Friday, May 20.
The virus that causes monkeypox can cause flu-like symptoms.
The apparent infection in the state of New York comes as the World Health Organization WHO has identified about 80 cases around the world and roughly 50 more suspected cases. The health officials in Massachusetts confirmed its first case of monkeypox back on May 18.
The New York state and city officials said they would investigate how the patient was infected. City epidemiologists have started reaching people who may have been in contact with the infected patient.
According to The New York Times, the virus originates in primates and other wild animals, and it causes fever, body aches, fatigue, and chills in most patients. People with severe cases can develop rash and lesions on their face, hands, and other parts of their body.
Health officials stated that the risk to the general public is low, noting that the monkeypox is more difficult to transmit and easier to contain than the coronavirus.
Nonetheless, the CDC has advised medical providers to be alert for rashes linked with monkeypox that can sometimes be confused for other illnesses.
People who are exposed to monkeypox, which has a slow incubation period, can also be given smallpox vaccines to help curb the severity of the illness.
More Than 80 Cases Were Confirmed in 12 Countries
According to BBC, the World Health Organization has announced 50 more cases of monkeypox, and all of them are currently being investigated. However, WHO did not name any countries but warned that more cases are likely to be reported.
So far, the infections that have been confirmed are in nine European countries, the United States, Australia, and Canada.
Monkeypox is the most common in remote areas in West Africa and Central Africa.
It is a rare viral infection that is often mild and from which most people recover in just a few weeks, according to the UK's National Health Service or NHS.
The NHS confirmed that the virus does not spread easily between people, and the risk to the wider public is very low.
There is no vaccine for monkeypox yet, but a smallpox jab offers 85% protection since the two viruses are quite similar. So far, public health agencies in Europe have confirmed cases in Spain, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Belgium, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Italy.
The WHO also said that the recent outbreaks are atypical, occurring in non-endemic countries.
The Health Organization is working with affected countries and others to expand disease surveillance to find and support people who may be affected.
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Written by Sophie Webster
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