NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Two more people have tested positive for orthopoxvirus in New York City, which is presumed to be monkeypox.
These would be the second and third cases in the city. The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene investigated its first possible case of monkeypox in the area late last month.
The New York City Department of Health said they are conducting contact tracing and monitoring and will refer people for care if necessary.
"Monkeypox is rare in New York City but we can prevent the spread. Any New Yorker who feels sick should stay home and contact their provider if they notice sores or lesions," the NYC Health Department said.
Authorities also investigated potential infections in the Montreal area, while Massachusetts officials are investigating whether a monkeypox infection in the state is linked to U.K. outbreaks.
Monkeypox is harder to contract than COVID, as it requires close contact or the sharing of bodily fluid.
The symptoms of the rare virus include fever and rash, muscle aches, and chills.
Worldwide, it is deadly in between 3 to 6% of cases, though the death rate is less than 1% in areas with quality healthcare.
This is the largest outbreak outside of Africa, and if follows a confirmed case in Massachusetts.
The virus is endemic in Central and West Africa and is rarely seen outside of the continent.
Usually, the cases are related to travel, but many of the recent cases in Europe in North America are in people without recent travel, meaning the virus is spreading locally.
Still, doctors say there is no need to worry but instead urged residents to be aware.
"It's primarily spread by very close contact," epidemiologist Dr. Jay Varma said. "It can be spread through the air, but unlike COVID, which can spread over a long range and hang around in the air for a long time, we don't believe that is true with this virus."
Health officials are contact tracing in hopes of limiting the spread.
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