Hawaiʻi Department of Health identifies probable monkeypox case in Oʻahu resident
The Hawaiʻi Department of Health has identified one probable case of monkeypox in a Hawaiʻi resident, officials confirmed this morning.
The individual is an adult Oʻahu resident and is currently hospitalized in stable condition, according to the DOH. The Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency Tweeted this morning that the individual is a patient at Tripler.
Officials say the individual presented with symptoms consistent with monkeypox and recently traveled to an area with confirmed cases.
Testing completed by the State Laboratories Division detected orthopoxvirus—monkeypox is a type of orthopoxvirus. Confirmatory testing will be performed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention next week.
“Monkeypox does not spread easily from person to person, and the risk remains low for most Hawaiʻi residents,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Kemble in a department press release. “DOH continues case investigation and is coordinating with federal authorities to ensure that Hawaiʻi has the resources we need to prevent and treat monkeypox infection.”
According to the DOH, monkeypox is a rare disease caused by the monkeypox virus. Infection begins with flu-like symptoms and swollen lymph nodes, and 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, but it is not sexually transmitted. 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,” the DOH advised.
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.