The outbreak of monkeypox cases continues after New Jersey reported its first confirmed case of the virus was discovered in Jersey City.
The case was identified after testing on June 18 and contact tracing is underway. The infected person, who was not identified, is isolating at home while recuperating, according to the state’s department of health.
“The New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) today announced the first probable case of monkeypox in the state,” the health department 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.”
“Our health officials are working closely with the CDC,” the city said in a statement. “In an effort to keep you informed and updated, we will post any further information here as needed.”
The state reiterated that the risk of contracting monkeypox is relatively low.
“Monkeypox is rare but can spread through close prolonged contact with an infected person or animal,” the health department 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.
Monkeypox presents symptoms similar to smallpox, like fever, headache and muscle aches. It also causes swollen lymph nodes and rashes on the face and body.
Localities are encouraged to report any suspected cases to health departments immediately.