On July 13, a resident had their laboratory test results come back positive for orthopoxvirus and an investigation was initiated by the county Health Department and local public health officials. The individual patient is isolating at home and the case remains under investigation.
“While this is the second case of monkeypox we’ve seen here in Camden County, it’s important to reiterate to residents that this is not a cause for panic,” said Paschal Nwako, Camden County health officer and public health coordinator. “Monkeypox is very containable when immediate care has been sought for symptoms. Additionally, a vaccine is available for high-risk contacts of an infected person and patients with monkeypox can also receive an antiviral treatment. We are encouraging residents to remain vigilant and to watch for symptoms.”
Symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle ache, chills, and a pimple or blister like rash. Monkeypox is spread from person to person through direct contact with the 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. According to the U.S. Center of Disease Control and Prevention, there are currently 929 confirmed cases of monkeypox across the country.
In related news, the state Department of Health has made Camden County a regional storage hub for the monkeypox vaccine. Moving into the future any regional health departments in South Jersey with cases and close contacts will be able to work with county public health officials for vaccine distribution.
To learn more about monkeypox, residents can visit cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox. Residents can also call the Camden County Department of Health and Human Services at (856) 374-6370.