New York has reported two more cases of what is presumed to be the monkeypox virus, bringing the total number of cases in the state up to 4.
The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said in a Wednesday update that two more people had tested positive for orthopoxvirus in the Big Apple.
“We will be 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,” the department wrote on Twitter.
Any New Yorker who feels ill is advised to stay home and contact their medical care provider if they notice sores or lesions.
The department also noted that those who recently traveled to Portugal, Spain, the U.K., Canada or central or western African countries and men who have sex with men or anyone with close social or physical contact with others may be more likely to have been exposed to monkeypox.
Manhattan Borough President Mark Levin tweeted that the health department was “offering vaccination when appropriate.”
The U.S. government has released about 700 doses of vaccine to states where monkeypox cases have been reported.
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), shows there are now 18 confirmed cases across the country.
Some monkeypox symptoms include fever, chills, rash and aches, before lesions develop.
To treat monkeypox, some smallpox vaccines and therapeutics are available – no vaccines have been specifically developed against monkeypox – and the CDC said last month that production would “ramp up” in coming weeks.
Monkeypox, which is in the same family of viruses as smallpox, and smallpox vaccines are estimated to be about 85% effective against monkeypox, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
WHO has 31 million doses of smallpox vaccines, mostly kept in donor countries and intended as a rapid response to any re-emergence of the disease.
Doses from the agency’s stockpile have never been released for any monkeypox outbreaks in central or western Africa.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.