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City of Hoboken, NJ
Wednesday July 13th, 2022 :: 11:26 a.m. EDT


Update on monkeypox from Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla (7/13) 

Below is an update from Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla on monkeypox:   

While we continue to utilize all of the tools at our disposal to provide COVID-19 vaccinations and testing for residents, unfortunately monkeypox, another contagious virus, has been spreading within certain regions in the United States. Like the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to be guided by facts and science.  

As of yesterday, according to the New Jersey Department of Health, there have been 18 probable and confirmed cases of monkeypox in New Jersey, and none reported from Hoboken. However, the New York City Department of Health has reported an increase of cases across the river in New York City, with 223 residents having tested positive for orthopoxvirus, the group of viruses that cause monkeypox. Learning from the lessons of COVID-19, it is very likely that these confirmed cases are substantially undercounted.   

As you may have heard, anyone, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation, can get infected with and spread monkeypox. However, the New York City Health Department has reported that the most current cases in New York City are seen by men who have sex with other men.  

Here is some important, fact-based information related to monkeypox, based on what has been reported by health professionals:  

  • Monkeypox is most often spread through direct contact with a rash or sores of someone who has the virus. Transmission can occur during sexual or intimate activities.    
  • If you have a new rash or sore that seems unusual, contact your healthcare provider.   
  • Vaccines remain scarce in New Jersey at the current time, however the New Jersey Department of Health is currently working to expand access in the coming weeks and months.   
  • Symptoms may appear 7-14 days after exposure, but could occur up to 21 days from exposure.   
  • According to the CDC, an individual is contagious until all sores have healed and a new layer of skin has formed, which can take two to four weeks.   
  • There is no current treatment for monkeypox, although most will recover on their own   
Below are more details and information regarding monkeypox, that you may find helpful:   

What is Monkeypox? (NJ Department of Health 

Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. Monkeypox was first discovered in 1958 when two outbreaks of a pox-like disease occurred in colonies of monkeys kept for research, hence the name “monkeypox.” The first case in humans was found in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Since then, more cases have been found in central and western African countries with most infections being found in Democratic Republic of Congo. Rarely, monkeypox cases have been found in countries outside of Africa that were associated with international travel or importing animals from areas where the disease is more common. Monkeypox is a zoonotic disease, meaning that it can be spread from animals to people. The natural reservoir of monkeypox remains unknown.    

Who gets monkeypox? (NJDOH)  

Anyone, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation, can catch monkeypox if they have close contact with someone infected with the virus.   

Most cases occur in central and western Africa. As of spring 2022, clusters of monkeypox cases have been seen in several countries that don’t normally have cases of the disease including parts of Europe and North America. Most of the recent cases do not have direct travel exposure risks.    

What are the symptoms of monkeypox? (NJDOH)  

The most common early symptoms are similar to the flu and may include:   
  • A rash that can look like pimples or blisters that appear on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body such as the hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus  
  • Fever   
  • Headache   
  • Muscle aches   
  • Backache   
  • Swollen lymph nodes   
  • Chills    
  • Drenching sweats    
The incubation period (time from being infected to the time symptoms appear) is usually 7-14 days but can range from 5-21 days. People who have weak immune systems or skin conditions such as eczema may experience more serious illness or complications.   

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “Monkeypox can spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed.”  The CDC has also stated that researchers are investigating whether or not the virus can be spread when someone has no symptoms. 

How is monkeypox spread? (CDC)  

The monkeypox virus is most often spread through direct contact with a rash or sores of someone who has the virus. It can also spread through contact with clothing, bedding, and other items used by a person with monkeypox, or from respiratory secretions that can be passed through prolonged face-to-face contact. At this time, it is not known if monkeypox can spread through semen or vaginal fluids.   

Transmission can happen during sex or other intimate activities, including hugging, kissing, cuddling, and massage, and when coming in contact with bedding or other items that have the virus on them during or after intimate activity  

How can monkeypox be prevented? (NYCDOH) 

To reduce the chance of getting and spreading monkeypox:   
  • If you or your partners are sick, especially if you or they have a new or unexpected rash or sore, do not have sex or close physical contact. Avoid clubs, parties or gatherings until you have talked to a health care provider.   
  • If you choose to have sex while sick, avoid kissing and other face-to-face contact. Also, cover all sores with clothing or sealed bandages. This may help reduce — but not eliminate — the risk of transmission.   
  • Wash your hands and bedding before and after intimate activities. 
When making plans, consider the level of risk. Having sex or other intimate contact with multiple or anonymous people (such as those met through social media, dating apps, or at parties) can increase your risk of exposures. Places with skin-to-skin or face-to-face contact with many people like clubs, parties, saunas, and festivals may also increase your risk of exposure, especially if people are wearing less clothing.   

How is monkeypox diagnosed? (NJDOH)   

If a health care provider suspects that a patient has monkeypox, a sample from the rash will be collected and sent to the NJ Public Health and Environmental Laboratory for initial testing to know if it is in the same pox virus family as monkeypox. Further testing will likely need to be done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to confirm if it is monkeypox.    

What is the treatment for monkeypox? (NJDOH) 

There are no treatments specifically for monkeypox virus infections. However, monkeypox and smallpox viruses are genetically similar, which means that antiviral drugs and vaccines developed to protect against smallpox may be used to prevent and treat monkeypox virus infections. Antivirals, such as tecovirimat (TPOXX), may be recommended for people who are more likely to get severely ill, like patients with weakened immune systems.

Is there a vaccine for monkeypox? (NJDOH) 

Yes. There is a vaccine called JYNNEOS™ (also known as Imvamune or Imvanex). It is a live virus vaccine that is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the prevention of monkeypox. However, vaccines are currently in short supply in New Jersey. The NJDOH is currently working to expand supply.

What should I do if I think I might have monkeypox? (NJDOH) 
  • If you think you might have monkeypox seek medical care immediately.    
  • Call ahead before you arrive at a doctor’s office, urgent care center, or hospital so that they can be ready to isolate you from other people.   
  • Wear a mask to prevent the spread of respiratory droplets.   
  • Monkeypox rashes that occur in the genital or anal area may look like herpes or syphilis so be sure to tell you healthcare provider if you were in contact with someone who had/has monkeypox    
  • Individuals can also call the Hoboken Health Department with any questions or concerns.  
If you suspect you have monkeypox or have been in close contact with a confirmed case, please consult with your healthcare provider for further information. You can also call the Hoboken Health Department for additional guidance by calling 201-420-2375. 

City of Hoboken, NJ
94 Washington St
Hoboken, NJ 07030

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 201-420-2000

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