N.J. probing first likely case of monkeypox


The state is investigating its first probable case of monkeypox in New Jersey.

Over the weekend, the state health lab detected orthopoxvirus in a person from North Jersey, according to a statement Monday from the New Jersey Department of Health. Monkeypox belongs to the orthopoxvirus group of viruses, along with smallpox and cowpox.

The positive sample was detected Saturday at the state Health Department’s Public Health and Environmental Laboratories, the statement said. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will test to confirm if it indeed is a case of monkeypox.

For privacy reasons, no other information on the individual was released except that the person is isolating at home, the statement said. Local health officials are conducting contact tracing to pin down potential exposures.

“The Department of Health believes that the risk to New Jerseyans remains low,” the statement said.

HealthierJC — a partnership, development and branding office of the Jersey City Department of Health and Human Services — tweeted earlier Monday that the suspected patient lived in Jersey City.

There are currently 113 monkeypox cases in the U.S. Its symptoms, while similar, are less severe than smallpox. Monkeypox also is usually not deadly, 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,” the statement said.

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Spencer Kent may be reached at skent@njadvancemedia.com.