Monkeypox detected in 13 NJ counties as US declares national health emergency

New Jersey has at least 214 reported cases of monkeypox across 13 counties, state health department officials said Friday.

The federal government on Thursday declared the monkeypox outbreak a national public health emergency after more than 7,100 Americans reported contracting the virus. The designation will allow the Biden administration to use federal money and other resources to fight the virus, which is causing pimple-like bumps, fever, fatigue and other symptoms in people. infected.

Infections have increased in New Jersey from 45 total cases two weeks ago to 214 total cases on Friday. That’s a 375% increase.

Cases have been diagnosed in 13 counties: Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Essex, Hudson, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset and Union counties.

Hudson County reported the most cases with 67 on Friday, followed by Essex County with 45 cases and Bergen County with 24 cases, state officials said.

Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Salem, Sussex and Warren counties have not reported any positive cases, according to health department data.

In counties with fewer than five cases, the state has not released specific case counts to protect patient privacy, officials said.

Cases have also risen dramatically across the country. In the two-week period from July 20 to Wednesday, reported cases in the United States nearly tripled, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

New Jerseyans should remain cautious, but take the declaration of a national public health emergency as a good sign, said Stephanie Silvera, an epidemiologist and professor at Montclair State University.

Public health emergencies make it easier for the government to allocate resources to respond to outbreaks, which is a positive, Silvera said. It could also help the public take things more seriously, she said.

“It also hopefully signals to people who might have thought this is a disease for other people in other places, that they may be affected by it,” Silvera said.

Residents should continue to practice common illness prevention tactics, including hand washing and not going outside if you feel sick. Although not an airborne virus, monkeypox can be spread through droplets and saliva, so wearing a mask if you think you’ve been exposed to the virus is a good idea, Silvera said.

People in high-risk groups should get vaccinated against monkeypox, according to the health department. High-risk groups include men who have sex with men and anyone who has been in contact with someone who tested positive or attended an event where there was a known case of monkeypox.

But state officials acknowledge that it has been difficult for some residents to find a vaccine in New Jersey.

“The availability of vaccines has been limited,” Nancy Kearney, spokeswoman for the Department of Health, said in a statement. “Demand is high and appointments are filled quickly. »

As of Monday, the state had received about 5,500 doses, she said. An additional 14,520 doses are expected in the coming weeks, including a shipment of 5,900 expected to be delivered this week, she said.

There are currently five monkeypox vaccination sites in New Jersey:

  • Hyacinth AIDS Foundation/ Live Out Loud Project! (Jersey City): 201-706-3480
  • The Prevention Resource Network, a program of the Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey (Asbury Park): 732-502-5100
  • North Jersey Community Research Initiative (Newark): 973-483-3444
  • Cooper University Hospital, 300 Broadway (Camden): At the intersection of Broadway and MLK Boulevard. Entrance from MLK Blvd. Follow the signs; do not drive into the parking garage. By Appointment Only: Call 856-968-7100, Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., or log in anytime via MyCooper by clicking here.
  • Bergen New Bridge Medical Center, Annex 2 (white tent structure), 230 East Ridgewood Ave. (Paramus) Appointment only online by clicking here

Don’t see the map below? Click here. (Note: The numbers on the national map and graph below may not match the total number of cases on the CDC and New Jersey Department of Health websites, as the data is delayed by several days. data will be updated periodically. Please confirm the date shown on the top of the map below to see when it was last updated.)

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Katie Kausch can be contacted at kkausch@njadvancemedia.com. matt arco can be attached to marco@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at @MatthieuArco.

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