Health officials investigating likely monkeypox case in NYC
Lauren Stanforth is reporting for the Times Union that on May 20 the state Department of Health released information on two possible cases of monkeypox under investigation in New York City. The U.S. reported its first confirmed case in a Massachusetts resident two days before. The state is awaiting official confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is contact tracing for the case. Monkeypox is similar to smallpox in that it causes lesions all over the body and can lead to serious illness; one in ten people who contracted it in Africa died, according to the CDC. This particular pox virus was first discovered in the late 1950s in African lab monkeys; the first human case was found in 1970. Monkeypox was first reported outside of Africa in 2003. The CDC said it is tracking multiple clusters of monkeypox that have been reported in early- to mid-May in several countries that do not normally report monkeypox, including in Europe. "Based on the limited information available at this time, the risk to the general public appears low," the state Health Department said when asked if monkeypox is something to worry about. It is considered a rare virus, and while it can be spread through respiratory droplets, contracting it demands very close contact with an infected person for an extended period of time. Read the full story in the Times Union.