5th monkeypox case reported in NYC as worldwide spread continues

A fifth person in New York City has tested positive for the orthopoxvirus, the virus that causes monkeypox, announced the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

"We are monitoring the situation and will investigate any other suspected cases," the DOH posted online.

The additional case was announced Thursday. A day earlier, another two cases had been confirmed in the city.

The DOHMH said it was conducting contact tracing and monitoring and would refer people for care if necessary.

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The rare virus is seldom seen outside of Africa and can cause flu-like symptoms and swelling of the lymph nodes followed by rash on the face and body. Symptoms appear seven to 14 days after infection.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are cases in California, Florida, Colorado, Utah, Georgia, Illiniois, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington.

According to the DOHMH, the following people may be more likely to have been exposed to monkeypox:

  • Those who recently traveled to Portugal, Spain, the UK, Canada or Central or Western African countries.
  • Men who have sex with men, or anyone with close social or physical contact with others.

"Any New Yorker who feels sick should stay home and contact their provider if they notice sores or lesions. Learn more about monkeypox: http://on.nyc.gov/monkeypox," added the DOHMH.

Globally, there are 550 confirmed cases in 30 non-endemic countries where the virus has not usually been found, many apparently tied to sexual activity at two recent raves in Europe. No deaths have been reported. The United Kingdom leads in the number of cases with 207 confirmed.

One of the worst-hit countries in the continent is Congo which has had 465 suspected cases and nine deaths from the disease this year, health authorities said this week.

Nigeria, one of the four African countries where monkeypox is endemic, has seen sporadic cases every year since 2017. It has confirmed 21 monkeypox cases so far this year, according to Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa, head of the country’s Center for Disease Control. 

With the Associated Press