May 21, 2022 - Health

New York City confirms first case of monkeypox

People walking in New York City.

People walking in New York City. Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

New York state health officials said late Friday a New York City resident tested positive for the virus that causes monkeypox, according to AP.

Why it matters: It's the state's first confirmed case of monkeypox since multiple countries recently reported infections from the virus, which previously had been rarely seen outside of western and central African countries.

  • It's also the U.S.' second confirmed monkeypox infection this year, as Massachusetts reported the first on Wednesday.

The unidentified patient is being treated and isolated while the state determines how the person was infected and reaches people who may have been in contact with the person, according to AP.

The big picture: Numerous other countries reported multiple confirmed and possible cases this week, including Australia, Canada, Belgium, Italy, London and northern Ireland, Portugal and Spain.

  • Related to smallpox, monkeypox has two main types: the West African clade with a fatality rate of around 1% and the Congo Basin (Central African) clade, with a fatality rate of around 10%, Axios' Eileen Drage O'Reilly reports.
  • The current circulating virus strain appears to be the milder West African type that often starts with flu-like symptoms and swelling lymph node, progressing to a blistering rash.
  • The smallpox vaccine is believed to be effective against monkeypox.

The CDC warned Friday that doctors and state health departments in the U.S. should be on the lookout for possible cases, specifically looking for the characteristic rash associated with the virus.

Go deeper: What we know about the new monkeypox outbreak

Go deeper