NEW YORK — New York City health officials ruled out one patient suspected to have contracted monkeypox and say preliminary test results show a second patient has contracted orthopoxvirus, an illness belonging to the same family of viruses as monkeypox.
That patient is isolated and is presumed to be positive while the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirms the results, health officials say.
According to health officials, that patient is showing symptoms consistent with monkeypox.
The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said it is carrying out contract tracing of the patient. City epidemiologists will then follow up with people who may have been in contact with the patient.
"Reports of suspected cases of monkeypox in the United States and elsewhere are concerning. While a possible case in New York State awaits confirmatory testing by our local and federal partners, the Department has alerted health care providers in New York State so that they can consider this unusual diagnosis if their patients present with symptoms," said Dr. Mary T. Bassett said, State Health Commissioner. "The current risk to the public is low."
The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene began investigating two potential monkeypox cases Thursday.
Massachusetts on Wednesday reported a case of monkeypox in a man who recently traveled to Canada, and health officials are looking into whether it is connected to small outbreaks in Europe.
Monkeypox is an illness with flu-like symptoms, with swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck, which progresses to a rash on the face and body. Transmission occurs through contact or items contaminated with body fluids or sores and respiratory droplets.