State Department of Health Update: First Case of Orthopoxvirus/Monkeypox Outside of New York City

Sullivan County Resident Diagnosed with Confirmed Orthopoxvirus – Probable Monkeypox

New Yorkers Can Learn About Monkeypox at the State Department of Health's Website:

Albany, N.Y. (June 7, 2022) – The New York State Department of Health today announced the first individual confirmed orthopoxvirus case outside of New York City. Testing for orthopoxvirus was conducted at the Department's Wadsworth Center Laboratory. Sullivan local county health department is treating this as a probable monkeypox case, and contact tracing efforts are underway. As of today, a total of nine confirmed orthopoxvirus/monkeypox cases — a designation established by CDC — have been identified in New York State, including eight in New York City.

"As the risk for monkeypox remains low, we urge New Yorkers to be alert and seek care if you have symptoms consistent with monkeypox, as we continue to learn more about this virus," said State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. "Healthcare providers throughout the state have been notified, our Wadsworth Center public health lab will continue to test for orthopoxvirus, and we will work with local health departments and public health experts to protect New Yorkers."

Each of these cases have been confirmed through testing for orthopoxvirus. From a public health perspective, it's important to treat these as probable monkeypox cases because:

  • The monkeypox virus belongs to the orthopoxvirus family;
  • The rarity of orthopoxvirus, generally;
  • The presentation of symptoms, in confirmed orthopoxvirus cases, being consistent with monkeypox.

The State Department of Health has notified New York health care providers so they have information regarding reporting 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.

Monkeypox is a rare viral illness that does not usually cause serious illness, but may result in hospitalization or death. Monkeypox cases in this outbreak have involved a rash (often in the genital and peri-anal regions), and may also include other symptoms such as fever, swollen lymph nodes, and pain when swallowing, before or after the rash appearance. Most infections last two to four weeks.

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.

Sullivan County Public Health Director Nancy McGraw said, "In concert with the NYS Department of Health, we continue to closely monitor this case, which is limited to just one individual. There is no identified risk to any County residents, as the individual had traveled outside the USA and was no longer contagious by the time they returned to Sullivan County. As we have done with COVID-19, Sullivan County Public Health remains vigilant and ready to respond to communicable diseases of all types, and should there be any public health risk, we will promptly make notice to our residents and visitors."

The State Department of Health - in partnership with local officials including State Assemblymember Aileen Gunther and State Senator Mike Martucci and federal public health authorities - will continue to learn more and communicate openly with New Yorkers.

For more information on monkeypox, visit: