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New Jersey Monkeypox cases reach 155, vaccines available for the exposed

Monkeypox cases started to appear around the world in May, and the virus hasn’t stopped spreading since.

As of Monday, there were over 23,620 confirmed cases in 80 countries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The United States had 5,810 cases, including 155 in New Jersey, 1390 in neighboring New York and 161 in adjacent Pennsylvania.

The state Department of Public Health said Monday that there have been 155 cases diagnosed in New Jersey as of August 1, 2022.

Cases typically include individuals who self-identify as men who have sex with men, but monkeypox can spread from direct contact with any infected individual.

Healthcare providers should be alert for patients who have rash illnesses consistent with monkeypox, regardless of whether they have travel or specific risk factors for monkeypox and regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with monkeypox virus that can affect anyone. The virus can cause flu-like symptoms, swollen lymph nodes, and a rash that often begins on the face and spreads to other parts of the body.

Monkeypox does not spread easily to people without close contact.

At this time, cases of monkeypox are relatively rare in the United States. People who think they may have been exposed to monkeypox or who have symptoms of monkeypox should consult with a healthcare provider.

The virus — a milder relative of smallpox that was first discovered in monkeys — has until now rarely been seen outside Central and West Africa.

The vaccine was previously available to residents with known exposure to a monkeypox case. Going forward, the JYNNEOS vaccine will also be available to New Jerseyans who are at high risk of having been exposed to the virus in the past 14 days.

Healthcare providers should be alert for patients who have rash illnesses consistent with monkeypox, regardless of whether they have travel or specific risk factors for monkeypox and regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

For residents with known exposure to monkeypox, the two-dose regimen for Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) continues to be available through their local health department.

Anyone with a known exposure within the past 14 days should contact their health care provider or local health department regarding testing and vaccine eligibility.

Local health departments will continue to conduct contact tracing and offer the vaccine to anyone identified as a close contact. 

For residents without a confirmed exposure who believe they may have been exposed or are at high risk for having been exposed to monkeypox in the past 14 days, the vaccine is now available through community partners via appointments only. 

New Jersey is expecting additional doses from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and as the state gets additional supplies the department will continue to expand access to the vaccine. 

For these residents, information on vaccine appointments through the expanded PEP program is available through these community partners:

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