Maui News

DOH: Another probable monkeypox case on O’ahu; all 6 Hawaiʻi cases are connected

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Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by the monkeypox virus. Photo Courtesy: CDC

The Hawaiʻi Department of Health identified one additional probable case of monkeypox in an Oʻahu resident, bringing the total number of cases in Hawaiʻi to five confirmed and one probable.

DOH has identified connections between all six people.

“Vaccination and treatments are available, and we encourage anyone with monkeypox symptoms to contact their healthcare provider,” said Health Director Dr. Elizabeth Char, FACEP.

The risk to most Hawaiʻi residents remains low. DOH continues to conduct contact tracing and coordinate vaccination and treatment, which can be effective in controlling monkeypox infection.

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.

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Monkeypox can spread through direct contact with body fluids, lesion material or items used by someone with monkeypox as well as close, prolonged contact with an infected person or animal. 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.

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Individuals with monkeypox symptoms, including flu-like symptoms, swollen lymph nodes, or new or unexplained rash or sores, should immediately contact their healthcare provider.

Nationwide, monkeypox cases have been disproportionately reported among gay or bisexual men. In Hawaiʻi, at least some of the cases have been reported among gay or bisexual men. However, anyone who has close contact with someone with monkeypox is at risk of infection, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

DOH reminds members of the community to respond with an inclusive, fact-based approach when discussing monkeypox. Stigma is unacceptable and can drive people away from seeking healthcare services.

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