Ulster County Reports First Confirmed Case of Monkeypox

Posted August 6, 2022

Ulster County Department of Health is conducting case investigation to identify close contacts 

Close contacts will be offered the JYNNEOS vaccine

KINGSTON, N.Y. - Ulster County Commissioner of Health Dr. Carol Smith reported that Ulster County has its first confirmed case of Monkeypox. The Ulster County Department of Health has been preparing for this contingency and is poised to respond quickly to ensure public health and safety. Public health nurses are conducting case investigation to identify any potential close contacts, and those close contacts will be offered the JYNNEOS vaccine by the Ulster County Department of Health. Others who believe they have been exposed to Monkeypox may also be eligible for the vaccine and should call their doctor.

“The Ulster County Department of Health has been monitoring the spread of Monkeypox cases in New York State. We are in daily contact with public health officials at the state level to stay abreast of the latest developments,” Ulster County Commissioner of Health Dr. Carol Smith said. “We have a limited supply of the JYNNEOS vaccine to administer to individuals who meet the criteria established by the New York State Department of Health. We have been engaged in a public awareness campaign to share information about Monkeypox through social media and public service announcements. We also have access to treatment through the State for severe cases. If you believe you have been exposed to Monkeypox, contact a healthcare provider. Medical providers should reach out to the Ulster County Department of Health if a suspected case of Monkeypox comes to their attention.”

“I want to reassure residents that we are actively managing these developments through our team of public health experts and in coordination with the State Department of Health,” Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan said. “I encourage all residents to be informed of Monkeypox symptoms and to call your doctor if experiencing any. We will continue to update the public to ensure full transparency as the situation develops.”

Monkeypox is a viral infection in the same family as smallpox and spreads in several ways such as by direct contact with Monkeypox lesions through skin-to-skin contact, or by contact with respiratory droplets or saliva from someone with Monkeypox. It can also spread through touching objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, or towels), and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox. 

Monkeypox symptoms can include:

  • Rashes, bumps or blisters on or around the genitals or in other areas like 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.


Currently, New York State guidelines limit Monkeypox vaccine eligibility to individuals who meet the following criteria:

  • 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.

For more information: 

  • Follow @UCDeptHealth on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter for more information on Monkeypox. 
  • Call the Ulster County Service Center at 845-443-8888, Monday-Friday, from 9:30am-4:30pm. Ask to speak to a public health nurse, if reporting symptoms.
  • Visit the New York State Department of Health’s website to learn more: https://health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/zoonoses/monkeypox/
  • Sign up for Monkeypox Text Message 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.