Monkeypox

Update: Monkeypox in New York State – September 2022

As of September 23 2022, a total of 3,802 confirmed orthopoxvirus/monkeypox cases - a designation established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

County of Residence Cases
Albany 5
Broome 2
Chemung 1
Columbia 2
Delaware 1
Dutchess 10
Erie 17
Greene 2
Monroe 12
Nassau 54
Niagara 2
Onondaga 1
Ontario 1
Orange 15
Putnam 5
Rensselaer 1
Rockland 12
Schenectady 1
Seneca 1
St. Lawrence 1
Suffolk 70
Sullivan 4
Tioga 1
Tompkins 4
Ulster 2
Westchester 86
NYC 3,489
Total 3,802

*NYC case totals are as of NYCDOHMH’s most recent report date.

Weekly Data Reports

Monkeypox is a rare, viral infection that does not usually cause serious illness. However, it can result in hospitalization or death. That's why health officials in New York, the U.S., and around the world are monitoring cases of monkeypox in areas that do not usually report monkeypox infections, including in New York State.

While New Yorkers should not be alarmed, everyone should stay informed about monkeypox. This means understanding the symptoms, how it spreads, and what to do if you are exposed.

Sign-up for Monkeypox Text Message Alerts

New Yorkers can sign-up for monkeypox text alerts from New York State by texting “MONKEYPOX” to 81336 or “MONKEYPOXESP” for texts in Spanish. By providing a zip code, New Yorkers can also opt-in for location-based messages, which may include information on vaccines and care in your area.

Who is at risk for contracting monkeypox?

Monkeypox spreads through close, physical contact between people. This means anyone can get monkeypox. However, based on the current outbreak, certain populations are being affected by monkeypox more than others, including men who have sex with men (MSM).

Based on previous outbreaks of monkeypox around the world, some groups may also be at heightened risk for severe outcomes if they contract monkeypox. This includes people with weakened immune systems, elderly New Yorkers, young children under 8 years of age, and pregnant people.

What are the symptoms of monkeypox?

Symptoms of monkeypox can include:

  • Rashes, bumps, or blisters on or around the genitals or in other areas like your hands, feet, chest, or face.
  • Flu-like symptoms, such as fever, headache, muscle aches, chills, and fatigue. These symptoms may occur before or after the rash appears, or not at all.

How does monkeypox spread?

Monkeypox is spread through close, physical contact between individuals. This includes:

  • Direct contact with monkeypox sores or rashes on an individual who has monkeypox.
  • Respiratory droplets or oral fluids from someone with monkeypox, particularly for those who have close contact with someone or are around them for a long period of time.

It can also be spread through contact with objects or fabrics (e.g., clothing, bedding, towels) that have been used by someone with monkeypox.

How can I protect myself?

New Yorkers can protect themselves by taking simple steps, which are especially important for those who may be at higher risk for severe disease, including people with weakened immune systems:

  • Ask your sexual partners whether they have a rash or other symptoms consistent with monkeypox.
  • Avoid skin-to-skin contact with someone who has a rash or other monkeypox-related symptoms.
  • If you are exposed or experience symptoms, make sure to reach out to a health care provider.
  • Follow reputable sources of health information, including NYSDOH, CDC, and your local county health department.
Photo of Monkey Pox rash

Photo Credit: NHS England High Consequence Infectious Diseases Network

Photo of Monkey Pox rash

Photo Credit: NHS England High Consequence Infectious Diseases Network

Photo of Monkey Pox rash

Photo Credit: NHS England High Consequence Infectious Diseases Network

Photo of Monkey Pox rash

Photo Credit: NHS England High Consequence Infectious Diseases Network

Photo of Monkey Pox rash

Photo Credit: NHS England High Consequence Infectious Diseases Network

Photo of Monkey Pox rash

Photo Credit: NHS England High Consequence Infectious Diseases Network

Photo of Monkey Pox rash

Photo Credit: NHS England High Consequence Infectious Diseases Network

Photo of Monkey Pox rash

Photo Credit: NHS England High Consequence Infectious Diseases Network

View examples of monkeypox rashes here (cdc.gov)

What should I do if I was exposed or have symptoms consistent with monkeypox?

New Yorkers 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 someone who has a similar rash, or who received a diagnosis of suspected or confirmed monkeypox.

Are there treatments available?

Antiviral medications exist to treat monkeypox, which may be appropriate for some people. Vaccines exist that can help reduce the chance and severity of infection in those who have been exposed.

New Yorkers who develop a rash or skin lesions should be sure to:

  • Keep rash areas clean and dry to protect against secondary infections
  • Be conscious of sun exposure to avoid discoloring exposed lesions
  • Talk to a healthcare provider about over-the-counter oral antihistamines and topical agents such as calamine lotion, cortisone 10, petroleum jelly, and lidocaine cream or gels
  • Consider over-the-counter stool softeners to help reduce peri-anal discomfort

New Yorkers who experience a painful rash or skin lesion should contact a healthcare provider about medication to help with pain management. Prescription medicated mouthwashes and topical gels can provide pain relief and keep rashes and lesions clean, and are widely available.

If you are a healthcare provider, please see NYSDOH’s Provider Information page which includes the latest guidance for clinicians on monkeypox treatment.

If you have been diagnosed or suspect that you have monkeypox, contact your healthcare provider to get a referral to one of these MPV provider treatment network sites (outside of NYC) to be evaluated for potential treatment

Why are health officials concerned?

Health officials are concerned because monkeypox is spreading, and cases of monkeypox are presenting, in ways not typically seen in past monkeypox outbreaks. Although the current strain of monkeypox that is circulating in the U.S. is rarely fatal, symptoms can be extremely painful, and people might have permanent scarring resulting from the rash.

What is NYSDOH doing to help?

NYSDOH has alerted New York health care providers so they have information regarding reporting and case testing - which can be performed at NYSDOH's Wadsworth Center laboratory - should any of their patients present with symptoms consistent with monkeypox.

NYSDOH, in partnership with local and federal public health authorities, will continue learning more and communicating openly with New Yorkers.

Why are cases classified as "confirmed orthopoxvirus/monkeypox" cases? What does orthopoxvirus have to do with monkeypox?

Specimens from suspected monkeypox cases are typically sent by New York providers to the New York State and New York City public health laboratories. These laboratories conduct testing for orthopoxvirus, the family of viruses to which monkeypox belongs.

Cases that are confirmed positive for orthopoxvirus are considered probable monkeypox cases because of the rarity of all orthopoxviruses, generally, and the presentation of symptoms, in confirmed orthopoxvirus cases, being consistent with monkeypox. Confirmed orthopoxvirus cases, or probable monkeypox cases, may be further confirmed as monkeypox through CDC testing.

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