A New York City resident has tested positive for the virus that causes monkeypox, state health officials said late Friday.
The unidentified patient is isolating while the positive test result awaits the Center for Disease Control’s final confirmation.
Testing ruled out another potential case in New York City that public health authorities had discussed Thursday, state officials added.
The virus that causes monkeypox is rare and rarely seen outside Africa. It can cause flu-like symptoms.
The apparent infection in New York comes as the World Health Organization has identified about 80 cases globally, and roughly 50 more suspected cases. Health officials in Massachusetts confirmed its first case of monkeypox on 18 May.
New York state and city officials said they will try to determine how the patient was infected. City epidemiologists have begun reaching people who may have been in contact with the person.
The virus originates in primates and other wild animals, and causes fever, body aches, chills and fatigue in most patients. People with severe cases can develop rash and lesions on the face, hands and other parts of the body.
Health officials have said the risk to the general public remains low, noting that the monkeypox is harder to transmit – and therefore easier to contain – than the coronavirus. Nonetheless, the CDC has advised medical providers to be alert for rashes associated with monkeypox that can sometimes be confused for other illnesses.
People who are exposed to monkeypox, which has a slow incubation period, can also be given smallpox vaccines to curb the severity of the sickness, according to the CDC.