NJ Zika cases continue to grow as Atlantic County reports first case
TRENTON — Atlantic County has its first reported case of the Zika virus in the state's latest tally.
A total of 127 cases were reported in New Jersey by the state Department of Health as of Sept. 13. All are travel-related — meaning the illness was contracted from outside the state.
Atlantic County Public Health Officer Patricia Diamond said in a statement the person, whose identity was not disclosed, "is doing well and recovering nicely" after reporting symptoms of fever, rash, fatigue and joint pain. The patient had traveled to a country where there is active mosquito-borne transmission of the Zika virus.
Cape May and Salem counties continue to have no reported cases.
Zika is a viral infection that is usually spread by the bite of an infected mosquito, according to the state health department. It can sometimes be spread by having sex with an infected partner as well. Most people infected with Zika won’t know they have the virus because they won’t show symptoms. The illness is usually mild and it’s rarely fatal.
It can cause serious birth defects, making it a particular risk for pregnant women.
When traveling, the New Jersey Department of Health recommends avoiding mosquito bites by using an EPA-registered insect repellent, wearing long sleeves and pants while outdoors and frequently changing water in flower pots, pet dishes and bird baths.
Zika cases in New Jersey according to the NJ Department of Health (as of September 13)
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports nearly 3,000 travel-related cases nationwide as of last week, as well as more than 40 locally acquired infections in Florida.
Following a meeting between congressional leaders and President Obama on Tuesday long-sought provisions to provide money to deal with Zika look likely to be added to a must-pass spending bill to fund the government through Dec. 9.
The Associated Press contributed to this report
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.