Suffolk County Health Department announces first case of Monkeypox

The Suffolk County Department of Health Services announced the first confirmed individual case of orthopoxvirus, or monkeypox, in Suffolk County on July 1. The person, who was seen by a local healthcare provider, is following isolation protocols from home. Orthopoxvirus testing was performed at the New York State Department of Health’s Wadsworth Center Laboratory.

Suffolk County health officials are contacting the person and will contact those who may have been exposed. The case is one of 96 currently confirmed orthopoxvirus cases in New York State and approximately 400 in the United States to date.

“While the current risk to the general public is low, we urge the public as well as Suffolk County healthcare providers to be aware that this rare virus has been found in the area and to be aware of the signs and symptoms and the mode of transmission of the monkeypox virus,” said Suffolk County Health Commissioner Gregson Pigott.

Monkeypox can be spread from person to person most often through direct and prolonged contact with the infectious rash, scabs, body fluids, or respiratory secretions during prolonged face-to-face contact or during intimate physical contact, such as a kiss, a hug. , or sex. It can also be spread by touching objects, such as clothing or linens that contain infectious bodily fluids. Pregnant women can transmit the virus to their fetus through the placenta.

Anyone with a rash that looks like monkeypox should tell their healthcare provider, even if they don’t think they’ve been in contact with someone who has monkeypox. The New York State Department of Health has alerted New York City healthcare providers so they have information regarding case reports and testing.

Recent cases of monkeypox in the area have involved a rash that is often located in the genital and perianal regions and may include other symptoms such as fever, swollen lymph nodes and pain when swallowing, either before or after the onset rash. Most infections last two to four weeks.

Suffolk County residents can learn more about monkeypox on the New York State Department of Health website: