SCHENECTADY — Schenectady County’s first presumed case of monkeypox was identified Friday, according to a county press release.
The risk to the general public is considered low based on available information, according to the statement. All potential contacts are being notified as public health staff continue investigating and following up per Center for Disease Control & Prevention and state Department of Health guidelines, the statement continues.
“Our public health team continues to coordinate with the NYS DOH and CDC to stay up to date on monkeypox and ensure readiness should the virus spread within our community,” said Schenectady County Legislator Michelle Ostrelich, chair of the Health, Housing & Human Services Committee, in the release. “We encourage residents to learn the signs and symptoms of monkeypox, how it spreads and what to do if exposed, so they can protect themselves and their families.”
Monkeypox is a viral infection that is extremely rare, and often does not cause serious illness, according to local officials. It can, however, lead to hospitalization and death, especially if left untreated.
Infections spread through close physical contact between individuals or between individuals and contaminated objects, and typically last about two to four weeks, local officials told the Daily Gazette in July, at the time of the region’s first confirmed case in Albany County.
This case is the third confirmed in the Capital Region — two have now been located in Albany County, the first on July 19.
Governor Hochul declared a state disaster emergency in response to the ongoing monkeypox outbreak on July 29.
Based on CDC guidance, the state says those eligible include:
- Individuals with recent exposure to a suspected or confirmed monkeypox case within the past 14 days.
- Those at high risk of a recent exposure to monkeypox, including gay men and members of the bisexual, transgender, and gender non-conforming community and other communities of men who have sex with men and who have engaged in intimate or skin-to-skin contact with others in the past 14 days areas where monkeypox is spreading.
- Individuals who have had skin-to-skin contact with someone in a social network experiencing monkeypox activity, including men who have sex with men who meet partners through an online website, digital application (“app”), or social event, such as a bar or party.
The recommendation is to visit the respective county’s website for more information on receiving an initial dose.
According to information on the county website, state residents can sign up for text messages, including alerts about cases, symptoms, spread, and resources for testing and vaccination, 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.
For more information about monkeypox, including symptoms, prevention strategies, and how to get tested, the county suggested residents visit www.schenectadycounty.com/monkeypox.