ALBANY, N.Y. >> New York health officials are investigating a potential case of monkeypox after a patient tested positive for the family of viruses associated with the rare illness, state health officials announced late Friday.
The unidentified patient is isolating and treating the case as positive while awaiting confirmation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
New York City public health officials said earlier they were investigating two potential cases of monkeypox, a virus rarely seen outside of Africa that can cause flu-like symptoms.
Testing ruled out one case, the state Health Department said.
“The other was positive for orthopoxvirus and had an illness consistent with monkeypox,” the department said.
City epidemiologists have begun reaching people who may have been in contact with the person.
The possible 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 May 18.
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.