Camden County reports first confirmed monkeypox case

A 2003 electron microscope image shows a monkeypox virion.

File photo: This 2003 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a monkeypox virion, obtained from a sample associated with the 2003 prairie dog outbreak. The U.S. government is building up its supply of monkeypox vaccine to contend with escalating cases identified in a surprising international outbreak, health officials said Friday, June 10, 2022. (Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regner/CDC via AP, File)

Monkeypox has arrived in Camden County.

Officials announced Tuesday that a resident traveling out-of-state contracted the county’s first confirmed case of the virus. The patient is currently isolating at home. Treatment has been made available to close contacts.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the New Jersey Department of Health confirmed the diagnosis and the county Health Department conducted contact tracing and treatment. The case remains under investigation.

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The threat of monkeypox to Camden County is “extremely low,” according to Paschal Nwako, the county’s health officer and public health coordinator. “There is no need for panic, but we are encouraging residents to stay vigilant and to watch for symptoms.”

According to the CDC, symptoms include fever, headache, muscle ache, chills, and a rash that can look like a pimple or blister. The virus is spread from person to person through direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids. It can also spread by face-to-face contact through respiratory droplets, or during close contact such as kissing, cuddling, or sex.

In June, the state’s first monkeypox case was reported in Jersey City.  It is not a new virus, and is in the endemic stage in several countries, according to the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University.

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While there are no specific treatments for monkeypox, it is similar to smallpox in terms of its makeup, according to the CDC.

“Monkeypox is very containable when immediate care has been sought for symptoms,” Nwako said in a news release.

As of Friday, there were 459 monkeypox cases in the U.S., four of which were in New Jersey.

 

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