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First case of monkeypox in New Jersey confirmed in Jersey City

At the direction of NJ Department of Health, the individual is isolating at home

An image of the virus under a microscope, via the city of Jersey City.

The first case of monkeypox has been confirmed in Jersey City.

The city shared the news via social media on June 20, linking to the state fact sheet on the virus at: nj.gov/health/cd/topics/monkeypox.shtml.

“The NJ Health Dept has confirmed the first case of monkey pox in Jersey City,” the city said in the statement. “Please visit the NJ Health Dept site, which is set up to provide all necessary info.”

The city confirmed it was working with both the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) and the Centers for Disease Control on the matter.

“Our health officials are working closely with the CDC,” the city said. “In an effort to keep you informed and updated, we will post any further information here as needed.”

NJDOH confirms first case in garden state

In a statement, the NJDOH did not mention Jersey City, but confirmed the first case of monkeypox in the state was identified after test results on June 18.

“The New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) today announced the first probable case of monkeypox in the state,” the NJDOH said in a statement. “A PCR test conducted by the Department’s Public Health and Environmental Laboratories confirmed the presence of orthopoxvirus in a North Jersey individual on June 18. A confirmatory test for the monkeypox virus – one of the viruses associated with the orthopoxvirus genus – will be done by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Department of Health believes that the risk to New Jerseyans remains low.”

At the direction of NJDOH, the individual is isolating at home. The local health department is conducting contact tracing to identify any individuals who may have been exposed to the individual. No additional details related to the case will be released due to patient confidentiality, according to the NJDOH.

Risk to residents remains low

Most New Jersey residents are not at risk of infection with monkeypox, the NJDOH stated. New Jersey joins a slew of other states that have recently reported cases of the virus.

“Monkeypox is rare but can spread through close prolonged contact with an infected person or animal,” the NJDOH said. “This might include coming into contact with skin lesions, or body fluids, sharing clothes or other materials that have been used by someone who is infectious, or inhaling respiratory droplets during prolonged face-to-face contact. To date, confirmed monkeypox/orthopoxvirus cases have been reported in 20 states and the District of Columbia, according to the CDC.”

In humans, monkeypox symptoms are similar to but milder than the symptoms of smallpox, and begin with fever, headache, muscle aches, and exhaustion 7 to 14 days after infection, according to the CDC. As a precaution, any New Jersey residents who experience flu-like illness with swelling of lymph nodes and rash occurring on the face and body should contact their healthcare provider, according to the NJDOH.

NJDOH had alerted local medical professionals and local health departments to monitor for cases. For more information about monkeypox, go to: cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/index.html.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com. 

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