NJ’s first monkeypox case is in Jersey City, health officials say

TRENTON — New Jersey has its first “probable” case of monkeypox, state health officials announced Monday.

The patient has been isolated at home since a PCR test result was returned on June 18, according to the health ministry.

Jersey City health officials separately confirmed the case with a statement on Twitter, though the state health department has yet to confirm pending CDC testing.

They added that they were working alongside the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to confirm the presence of the rare virus which has spread in the United States and around the world.

How does monkeypox compare to COVID?

Dr. Ed Lifshitz, director of communicable disease services for the New Jersey Department of Health, says the virus, which can cause flu-like symptoms followed by an unusual rash, is not the next COVID.

“It’s clearly not as contagious. Although it can kill people sometimes, most people get by pretty well. It won’t cause the harm that COVID has caused anywhere,” he said. said Monday.

He said the disease is spread “particularly by close contact, and that close contact is often, although not necessarily, sexual in nature”.

He said if your partner has a rash and “you’re not sure something’s wrong, you shouldn’t touch their body, you shouldn’t rub skin against skin.”

He said monkeypox is “not something you are likely to catch from someone on a bus or on a train or from being near someone, in a movie theater or something like that.

How many cases of monkeypox have there been?

Since New York’s first confirmed case in May, that state has identified a total of 25 confirmed cases of monkeypox from June 17-23 in New York City, one in Sullivan County and one in Westchester County.

The risk to New Jersey residents remains low, state health officials said Monday, because monkeypox is rare but can be spread through close and prolonged contact with an infected person or animal.

In humans, symptoms of monkeypox begin with fever, headache, muscle aches and exhaustion 7 to 14 days after infection, according to the CDC.

As a precaution, any New Jersey resident who experiences a flu-like illness with swollen lymph nodes and rash on the face and body should contact their health care provider.

Exposure includes contact with broken skin or body fluids, sharing clothing or other materials that have been used by an infectious person, or inhaling respiratory droplets during prolonged face-to-face contact.

A US resident tested positive for monkeypox on May 18 after returning from Canada to the United States.

Since then, cases of monkeypox/orthopoxvirus have been reported in 20 states and the District of Columbia, according to the CDC.

Erin Vogt is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at [email protected]

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