New Jersey has at least 214 reported cases of monkey pox in 13 counties, Department of Health officials said Friday.
The federal government declared the monkey pox epidemic as a public health emergency on Thursday after more than 7,100 Americans reported contracting the virus. The appointment will allow the Biden administration to use federal money and other resources to combat the virus that causes pimples, fever, fatigue, and other symptoms in those infected.
New Jersey infections have risen, from 45 all cases two weeks ago to 214 all cases on Friday. This is an increase of 375%.
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 out of 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 a positive case, according to data from the department of health.
In counties with fewer than five cases, the state did not disclose a certain number of cases to protect patient privacy, officials said.
The number of cases has also increased dramatically across the country. According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of reported cases in the US nearly tripled in the two weeks from July 20 to Wednesday.
New Jersey residents should exercise caution, but the announcement of a public health emergency in the country should be considered a good sign, said Stephanie Silvera, an epidemiologist and professor at Montclair State University.
Public health emergencies allow the government to allocate resources more easily to respond to outbreaks, which is positive, Silvera said. She said it could also help society take things more seriously.
“Hopefully this is also a signal to people who might have thought it was a disease to other people elsewhere that they might be affected,” Silvera said.
Residents should continue to use popular disease prevention tactics, including washing their hands and staying home if you feel sick. Although monkey pox is not an airborne virus, it can spread through droplets and saliva, so wearing a mask if you think you may have been exposed to the virus is a good idea, Silvera said.
People at high risk should receive the monkey pox vaccination, the health department says. High-risk groups include men who have sex with men and anyone who has had contact with someone who tested positive or participated in an event where a case of monkey pox was known.
But state officials admit that some residents have had a hard time tracking down the vaccine in New Jersey.
“The availability of vaccines has been limited,” Nancy Kearney, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health, said in a statement. “Demand is high and deadlines are met quickly.”
By Monday, the state had received approximately 5,500 doses, she said. An additional 14,520 doses are expected to be delivered in the coming weeks, including a shipment of 5,900 due for delivery this week, she said.
There are currently five places to vaccinate against monkey pox in New Jersey:
- Hyacinth AIDS Foundation / Project Live for the Voice! (Jersey City): 201-706-3480
- The Prevention Resource Network, Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey (Asbury Park) program: 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 the MLK boulevard. Follow the signs; do not drive into the garage. Scheduled appointment only: Call 856-968-7100, Monday through Thursday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
- Bergen New Bridge Medical Center, Annex 2 (white tent structure), 230 East Ridgewood Ave. (Paramus) Online-only appointment by clicking here
Don’t see the map below? Click here. (Note: the numbers in the national map and chart below may not match the total number of cases on the CDC and New Jersey Department of Health websites as data is delayed by several days. Data will be updated periodically. Please confirm the date on the page at the top of the map below. to see when it was last updated).
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