The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the state Department of Health have confirmed a case of monkeypox in Camden County. The Camden County Health Department has completed contact tracing, treatment and is currently investigating the case to ensure a vaccine is available for all close contacts.
A resident traveling out of state had their laboratory test results come back positive for orthopoxvirus. Once that confirmation was made an investigation was initiated by the county Health Department and our local public health officials. The individual patient is isolating at home, contact tracing was performed, prophylaxis was provided to any close contacts and the case remains under investigation.
“The threat to Camden County residents from monkeypox is extremely low right now,” 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. There is no need for panic, but we are encouraging residents to stay 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 CDC, there are currently 460 confirmed cases of monkeypox across 31states and Puerto Rico.
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 our 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.