DOH News Release: DOH identifies second probable monkeypox case

Posted on Jun 8, 2022 in Latest Department News, Newsroom

HONOLULU – The Hawaiʻi Department of Health (DOH) has identified one additional probable case of monkeypox in a Hawaiʻi resident.

The individual is an adult Oʻahu resident who had close contact with the first probable case. The individual presented with symptoms consistent with monkeypox.

Testing completed by the State Laboratories Division detected orthopoxvirus—monkeypox is a type of orthopoxvirus. Confirmatory testing for both cases is pending with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“While the risk for most Hawaiʻi residents remains low, we urge individuals with symptoms consistent with monkeypox to contact their healthcare provider,” said Deputy State Epidemiologist Dr. Nathan Tan. “We continue to work closely with providers, federal agencies, and the community as we respond to these cases.”

Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by the monkeypox virus. Infection begins with flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle aches, chills, exhaustion, and swollen lymph nodes. Infection progresses to a rash or sores, often on the hands, feet, chest, face, or genitals. Individuals generally become ill within 21 days of exposure.

Monkeypox can spread through close, prolonged contact with an infected person or animal. This includes direct contact with body fluids, lesion material, or items used by someone with monkeypox. Monkeypox can be spread through large respiratory droplets. These droplets generally cannot travel more than a few feet, so prolonged face-to-face contact is required.

Nationally, the CDC has reported that many cases have been among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men or those who recently travelled abroad or to the continental United States. However, anyone who has been in close contact with someone with monkeypox is at higher risk of infection, regardless of a person’s gender, sexual orientation, or travel history.

Individuals with symptoms consistent with monkeypox infection should immediately contact their healthcare provider.

Healthcare providers should immediately report suspected cases to DOH. Providers should be alert for patients who have rash illnesses consistent with monkeypox, especially in those with a recent travel history to areas reporting monkeypox cases and regardless of gender or sexual orientation. Providers can click here to read DOH’s June 3 medical advisory for more detailed guidance.

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Katie Arita-Chang

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Email: [email protected]

Phone: (808) 286-4806