New Jersey has its first probable case of the monkeypox virus, according to the state Department of Health.
The department announced Monday that a test confirmed the presence of orthopoxvirus in a person in northern New Jersey on Saturday. A further test to confirm the virus will be performed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The affected person is isolating at home and contact tracing is being performed to determine others who may have been exposed, according to the health department.
Monkeypox has been identified in 20 states and the District of Columbia. It can spread through close, prolonged contact with an affected person or animal. It originates in primates and other wild animals and causes fever, body aches, chills and fatigue in most patients. People with severe cases can develop a rash and lesions on the face, hands and other parts of the body.
The World Health Organization has said people with monkeypox could be infectious for up to four weeks and advised them to isolate until they have completely recovered.
The smallpox-related disease is commonly found in parts of central and west Africa. But this year, 1,880 infections have been reported in more than 30 countries where monkeypox isn’t typically found.
The WHO is convening an emergency meeting this week to determine whether the outbreak should be considered a global health emergency.