NYC patient tests positive for monkeypox-related virus

A New York City patient tested positive for a family of viruses that includes monkeypox, health officials said Friday, but it was still unclear if the person had been infected with the rare disease.

Two patients were being evaluated by the city’s health department for possible carriers of the virus, which officials said has spread “within sexual networks” in the western world.

A possible case of monkeypox in the city has been ruled out, while the other person tested positive for “orthopoxvirus, the family of viruses that includes monkeypox,” the health department said in a statement.

The patient was isolated and presumed positive while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is determining if the person does in fact have the virus. Local health officials are conducting contact tracing in the meantime, they said.

Health officials said masks are effective in preventing the spread of monkeypox, which causes skin lesions and leaves patients with flu symptoms.

“As a precautionary measure, all New Yorkers who have a flu-like illness characterized by swelling of the lymph nodes and rashes on the face and body should contact their doctor,” New York City health officials said in a press release.

“Monkeypox is rare but can spread through close contact with an infected person or animal. This includes respiratory droplets — usually after prolonged contact — bodily fluids or other forms of close contact, such as sharing clothing or other materials that have been used by an infectious person.”

This 2003 electron micrograph, provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, shows mature, oval-shaped monkeypox virions (left) and spherical immature virions (right) isolated from a sample of human skin associated with the prairie dog outbreak of 2003.
New York City health officials said monkeypox is spread through “respiratory droplets.”
Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regner/CDC via AP

The World Health Organization called an emergency meeting on Friday after identifying more than 100 confirmed or suspected cases in Europe, as well as cases in Canada and Australia.

The virus was first identified in monkeys and rarely spreads outside of Africa, which has made recent reports of cases alarming for health officials.

The first signs of the new outbreak began on May 7 when a man who had been to Nigeria tested positive for the virus in England.

Officials in England and Portugal have said most patients in their country are men who have sex with other men.

According to Dr. Fabian Leendertz, an epidemiologist from the Robert Koch Institute, classified it as an epidemic.

“However, it is very unlikely that this epidemic will last long. Cases are well isolated via contact tracing and there are also medicines and effective vaccines that can be used if needed,” he said.

With postal wires NYC patient tests positive for monkeypox-related virus


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