New York

NYC correction captain contracts monkeypox

A city Department of Correction captain has contracted monkeypox, and is isolating in accordance with state and federal guidelines, officials said.

The positive test came back Thursday, and even though the captain does not work in a jail, Department of Correction staff are following established protocols, said spokeswoman Shayla Mulzac.

“We take the health and safety of people who work and live in our facilities seriously, and have been working with our partners at Correctional Health Services to mitigate any potential spread of monkeypox should cases arise,” Mulzac said in a statement. “This partnership and hard work has kept our facilities safe.”

The department will follow all CDC, state and local health department recommendations for cleaning and disinfecting areas where the person with monkeypox spent time.

For more than two years, since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic the DOC has had enhanced cleaning and sanitization protocols in-place, agency officials said.

Meanwhile, Mayor Adams applauded President Biden on Friday for declaring monkeypox a public health emergency.

“We continue to be the epicenter of this outbreak, with over 25% of cases nationally and approximately 150,000 New Yorkers who we estimate to be currently at risk for exposure,” Adams said. “New York City will continue to get vaccines and treatment into the hands and arms of New Yorkers as quickly and equitably as possible, and I’m hopeful this declaration will allow us to do so even faster.”

Adams also urged the federal government to invoke the Defense Production Act to ensure the city has the necessary number of vaccines to fulfill both doses of the two-dose inoculation series, and to continue cutting red tape to make treatment and testing more accessible.

An emergency declaration unlocks federal funds and other resources to fight the virus, which may cause fever, body aches, chills, fatigue and pimple-like bumps on many parts of the body.

The monkeypox virus spreads primarily through prolonged and close skin-to-skin contact, including hugging, cuddling and kissing, as well as sharing bedding, towels and clothing.

People getting sick so far have been primarily men who have sex with men. But health officials emphasize that anyone can be infected.

The World Health Organization last month issued its highest-level warning, after confirming outbreaks in about 70 countries where the virus is not usually seen.

The U.S. has already reported 6,600 monkeypox infections since March.

Last week, the number of people who’ve tested positive for monkeypox in New York City surpassed 1,000.

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