NEW YORK (WPIX) — The New York City Department of Health is investigating a possible case of monkeypox within the city Thursday, one day after the smallpox-like illness was confirmed to be in Massachusetts.
The possible monkeypox patient is being treated at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue. Isolation protocols are being followed, according to the Department of Health. If positive, tests will be sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Monkeypox is uncommon in the U.S. It usually presents as a flu-like illness accompanied by swelling and a rash on the face and body. In 2003, 47 people in six U.S. states had confirmed or probable cases. They caught the virus from pet prairie dogs that been housed near imported small mammals from Ghana.
The virus originates in wild animals like rodents and primates, and occasionally jumps to people. Most human cases have been in central and west Africa, where the disease is endemic.
Monkeypox can be fatal for up to one in 10 people and is thought to be more severe in children.
People exposed to the virus are often given one of several smallpox vaccines, which have been shown to be effective against monkeypox. Anti-viral drugs are also being developed.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.