HI INDIA NEWS DESK
NEW YORK, NY — One New Yorker has been diagnosed with a probable case of monkeypox after a battery of tests, officials said Thursday.
The diagnosis itself is presumptive because CDC tests conducted on samples obtained last week did not conclusively show monkeypox, city health officials said.
But earlier tests had detected orthopoxvirus — the type of virus that contains the monkeypox species — and the case was consistent with monkeypox disease, they said.
“This will be treated as a probable case and the Health Department will continue contact tracing,” officials said in a statement.
The potential monkeypox case arose last week when officials said a patient was being treated for the disease at Bellevue hospital.
It came on the heels of a monkeypox case reported in Massachusetts — and is part of a wave of more than 100 diagnoses in North America, Europe, Israel and Australia.
The outbreak’s cause is still under investigation, but a top adviser to the World Health Organization said this week that the leading theory is that monkeypox was likely spread after sexual activity at two recent raves in Europe, the Associated Press reported.
Details of the New York City’s patient’s identity and how they were potentially exposed have not been released.
But city health officials did say Thursday that an “astute provider” helped launch the investigation.
Monkeypox is a rare, potentially serious viral illness usually contained to central and West Africa. Most New Yorkers are not at risk of infection, but it can be spread through close prolonged contact with an infected animal or person.
Such contact includes that with skin lesions, body fluids or sharing clothes or other materials used by someone who is infectious, and also through respiratory droplets in prolonged face-to-face contact, health officials said.
The illness usually begins with flu-like symptoms and swelling of the lymph nodes before progressing to the rest of the body in a rash, or “pox.”
Any New Yorkers who experience flu-like illness with swelling of lymph nodes and rash are encouraged to contact their healthcare provider.