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Camden County Reports 4th Probable Case Of Monkeypox

CAMDEN COUNTY, N.J. (CBS) -- A fourth probable case of monkeypox has been reported in Camden County. County health officials say the probable case was discovered after a resident's lab tests came back positive on Tuesday.

The patient is now isolated at home, while the case remains under investigation. Eyewitness News spoke with a Camden County epidemiologist Wednesday night about what people can do to stay vigilant.

"It usually starts out with flu-like symptoms, headache, fever, swollen lymph nodes, body aches and then a couple of days later, people will develop a rash," epidemiologist Gabrielle Sweeney said. "It can present itself in different ways. It can look like sores. It can present itself like little pimples and it could happen at any part of the body."

Although patients who have tested positive are asked to self-isolate and wear masks if they live with others, monkeypox is not believed to be airborne, and even when it comes to skin-to-skin contact, it has to be prolonged and rather specific.

"You would have to have contact with the lesions," Sweeney said, "and normally, you would notice them on someone so it wouldn't be something to be worried about if you did have contact with someone you knew had it."

So the odds of catching it at a concert or a sporting event aren't believed to be great. Furthermore, there are specific high-risk individuals who should be especially vigilant, though the virus does not discriminate.

"At this time, it's just proportionally affecting men who have sex with men, bisexual, transgender, those groups," Sweeney said, "but it could affect anyone."

If you or someone you know starts to experience flu-like symptoms, followed by a rash, which is key, you should get in contact with your doctor.

"That would be my best advice, call your doctor," Sweeney said. "All of the providers in Camden County are aware of how to do the testing and get in contact with us at the health department."

Eyewitness News also spoke with Sweeney about the hard-to-get monkeypox vaccine.

"This is definitely a hot topic right now, especially [since] we are a storage hub in this region, Camden County is, for the vaccine," Sweeney said. "We're holding the vaccine for Gloucester, Burlington and Salem Counties so if anyone from those counties or any providers, they can request the vaccine from us. But we currently only have a limited supply, so we're only giving it to people who had a known contact in the last 14 days."

For those without a confirmed exposure who believe they may have been exposed or are at high risk for having been exposed to monkeypox, the vaccine is now available through three community partners via appointment only:

  • Hyacinth AIDS Foundation/Project Living Out Loud!, Jersey City: 201-706-3480
  • Prevention Resource Network, a program of the Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey, Asbury Park: 732-502-5100
  • North Jersey Community Research Initiative (NJCRI), Newark: 973-483-3444, ext. 200

For more information on monkeypox in New Jersey, click here.

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