May 20, 2022 – New York City health authorities say they’re looking into a possible case of monkeypox, a disease that’s rarely found outside of Africa.

In a news release, NYC Health said the patient is being cared for at Bellevue Hospital, and if early tests come back positive, the tests will be sent to the CDC for confirmation.

NYC Health disease officials will follow up with any person who had contact with the patient while they were infectious, according to NYC Health.

The news comes after monkeypox was confirmed in a man in Boston, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health said Wednesday. That appears to be the first monkeypox case detected in the U.S. this year. The man is being treated at Massachusetts General Hospital and is in good condition.

The Massachusetts man recently visited Canada, where two cases of monkeypox were confirmed Thursday, the Public Health Agency of Canada said in a news release.

Canadian health officials said the Massachusetts man traveled “by private transportation and may have been infected before or during his visit to Montreal, Quebec.”

Nine monkeypox cases have been found in the United Kingdom and 5 cases confirmed in Portugal. In Spain, almost two dozen possible cases are being investigated.

Monkeypox is rare outside Africa, but two cases were detected in the United States in 2021, both linked to travel in Africa. The virus is endemic in Central and Western Africa.

Monkeypox has symptoms that are like those of smallpox, which was declared eradicated in 1980, but are typically milder. People often get flu-like symptoms and a rash, particularly on the palms of the hands.

Show Sources

New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC Health): “Health Department Investigating Possible Monkeypox Case in New York City.”

Massachusetts Department of Public Health: “Massachusetts public health officials confirm case of monkeypox”

Public Health Agency of Canada: “Public Health Agency of Canada Confirms 2 cases of Monkeypox.”

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