Monkeypox was found to be a contributing factor in the October death of a New Jersey resident with a history of underlying medical conditions, the New Jersey Department of Health announced Monday. This is the first reported death in New Jersey tied to monkeypox.

Map of New Jersey/ National Atlas of the United States

The individual, a Northern New Jersey resident, was confirmed to have had monkeypox in mid-September.

Cases of monkeypox have been declining over the past weeks in New Jersey. However, it is important to note that the disease is still circulating, and in some cases, may cause severe illness or death. Those at risk of severe disease include people with weakened immune systems, children especially those under 8 years old, pregnant or nursing people, and individuals with certain conditions that affect skin integrity.

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While risk has remained low for the general public, it is important for individuals who may be most at risk to get vaccinated in advance of exposure. The two-dose monkeypox vaccine can help prevent monkeypox, or reduce severity of the disease. Free vaccines are available at community partner vaccination sites throughout the state. Individuals should continue to take precautions to further reduce the spread of monkeypox.