The state Department of Health has added another case of Zika to its Hudson County list, raising the county wide total to 16 confirmed cases of the virus.
Zika, which is most commonly transmitted through a bite from an infected mosquito, typically lasts for about a week and causes fever, rashes and joint pain.
In new numbers released by the Communicable Disease Service on Tuesday, 137 confirmed cases of the virus were reported statewide. None of those cases have been linked to local mosquitoes.
Hudson County added one confirmed case of the virus to its list, though the Hudson Regional Health Commission would not provide the towns where the virus was recorded, citing patient confidentiality rights.
Monique Davis, health educator at HRHC, said residents that have traveled to places were Zika carrying mosquitoes have been found — including Miami Beach and Central and South America — should wear repellent for three weeks after they return home.
When a case has been confirmed in Hudson County, mosquito control workers spray in the affected person’s neighborhood to help reduce the risk of spreading the disease to mosquitoes in New Jersey, Davis said.
Residents are urged to remain vigilant about standing water surrounding their homes.
Zika is also considered a sexually transmitted disease and can cause birth defects to children born to women who were exposed to the virus.
Representatives from RWJ Barnabas Health confirmed that Zika testing has been done at Jersey City Medical Center, but could not cite how many cases were reported through the system.
The corporate director of emergency management for RWJ Barnabas Health Louis Sasso said a Zika preparedness committee has been created that educates employees about the virus. The purpose of the committee is to ensure the Center for Disease Control’s guidelines for treating and education patients about Zika is presented uniformly throughout all of RWJ Barnabas’ facilities.
Sasso said everyone is urged to protect themselves from mosquitoes in order to protect themselves from being exposed to the virus.
Dr. Tucker Woods, head of CarePoint Health’s three Hudson County emergency rooms, said a handful of patients have been through the system with Zika symptoms, but could not confirm if any were diagnosed with the virus.