Possible NYC monkeypox case reported, with patient isolating and contact tracing started

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NEW YORK — An unidentified New York patient tested positive for a virus that includes monkeypox, with the federal Centers for Disease Control investigating to determine whether the rare disease is actually present, city health officials said.

The patient was ordered to isolate as officials treated the case as a presumptive positive pending confirmation, according to the city health department. A second suspected case was ruled negative after testing, authorities said.

The infected patient tested positive for Orthopoxvirus, the family of viruses that includes monkeypox. The virus comes from wild animals, including rodents and primates, but can occasionally transfer to humans — with most of those cases traced to central and west Africa.

The first known human infection dates to 1970 when a 9-year-old boy in a remote part of Congo was diagnosed.

City health officials said the virus can spread through close contact with an infected human or animal, typically via respiratory droplets, body fluids or shared clothing from someone with the disease.