ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) announced the first confirmed orthopoxvirus case outside of New York City on Wednesday. Sullivan County is treating this as a probable monkeypox case, and contact tracing efforts are underway.
Monkeypox is a rare viral illness that does not usually cause serious illness, but may result in hospitalization or death, according to the DOH. Monkeypox cases in the recent outbreak have involved a rash, and may also include other symptoms such as fever, swollen lymph nodes, and pain when swallowing, before or after the rash appears, says the DOH. Most infections last two to four weeks.
As of Wednesday, a total of nine confirmed orthopoxvirus/monkeypox cases have been identified in New York State, including eight in New York City, according to the DOH. Each of these cases has been confirmed through testing for orthopoxvirus.
Sullivan County Public Health Director, Nancy McGraw, says that the person who was diagnosed with monkeypox had traveled outside the U.S. and was no longer contagious by the time they returned to Sullivan County. There is currently no identified risk to County residents.
The DOH advises those who experience symptoms consistent with monkeypox, such as characteristic rashes or lesions, to contact their healthcare provider for a risk assessment. This includes anyone who traveled to countries where monkeypox cases have been reported or has had contact with someone who has a similar rash or received a diagnosis of suspected or confirmed monkeypox.