New York State Department of Health Updates New Yorkers on Suspected Cases of Monkeypox In New York City

Two Cases Were Under Investigation, One Ruled Out Through Preliminary Testing at NYCDOHMH's Public Health Lab

State Health Department Issued a Notification to Providers

Current Risk to General Public is Low

More Information on Monkeypox is Available Here

ALBANY, N.Y. (May 20, 2022) - The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), working with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYCDOHMH), today provided an update on the ongoing investigation of two suspected cases of monkeypox in New York State. On May 19, 2022, NYCDOHMH began investigating two New York City residents for possible monkeypox infection. Preliminary testing at NYCDOHMH's Public Health Lab ruled out one of the cases. The other was positive for orthopox virus and had an illness consistent with monkeypox. The patient is isolating, and – treating this case as a presumptive positive until confirmed – NYCDOHMH is carrying out contact tracing. Confirmation for monkeypox is pending CDC testing.

NYSDOH has alerted New York health care providers so they have information regarding reporting, treatment, and case testing – which can be performed at the State Health Department's Wadsworth laboratory – should any of their patients present with symptoms consistent with monkeypox. Based on the limited information available at this time, the risk to the general public appears low.

State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said, "Reports of suspected cases of monkeypox in the United States and elsewhere are concerning. While a possible case in New York State awaits confirmatory testing by our local and federal partners, the Department has alerted health care providers in New York State so that they can consider this unusual diagnosis if their patients present with symptoms. The current risk to the public is low."

Public health authorities, including NYSDOH and NYCDOHMH, will continue to learn more from the suspected case to determine the likely mode of transmission and communicate openly with New Yorkers.

Monkeypox is a rare but potentially serious viral illness that typically begins with flu-like illness and swelling of the lymph nodes, and progresses to a rash on the face and body. Most infections last two-to-four weeks. People can be exposed to monkeypox through bites or scratches from rodents and small mammals, preparing wild game, or having contact with an infected animal or possibly animal products. Based on previous outbreaks, the virus typically does not spread easily between people; transmission can occur through contact with body fluids, monkeypox sores, items that have been contaminated with fluids or sores, or through respiratory droplets.

Those who experience symptoms consistent with monkeypox, such as characteristic rashes or lesions, should contact their health care provider for a risk assessment. This includes anyone who traveled to countries where monkeypox cases have been reported or has had contact with a someone who has a similar rash or received a diagnosis of suspected or confirmed monkeypox.

Health officials in Massachusetts confirmed their first case of monkeypox on May 18, 2022.

For more information about monkeypox, visit