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State reports third probable monkeypox case in Oahu resident

The Maui News

A third probable case of monkeypox has been identified in an Oahu resident, the state Department of Health announced Thursday.

The individual is an adult Oahu resident who attended a social gathering, the department said. They did not travel off-island.

The person had symptoms consistent with monkeypox. Testing completed by the State Laboratories Division detected orthopoxvirus; monkeypox is a type of orthopoxvirus.

On Thursday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that Hawaii’s first case reported June 3 tested positive for monkeypox, the Health Department said. Confirmatory testing for the second and third cases is pending with the CDC.

“This case does not have a history of travel and we are investigating links between this third case and the first two cases,” Deputy State Epidemiologist Dr. Nathan Tan said in a news release. “Individuals at increased risk should avoid anonymous sexual contact or events where individuals may have close bodily contact with others.”

Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by the monkeypox virus, according to the department. 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.

At this time, risk to most Hawaii residents remains low, the department said. Vaccination is not recommended for the general public but is considered on an individual basis for close contacts of probable cases. DOH is conducting contact tracing and working with federal authorities to order vaccines and therapeutics from the strategic national stockpile.

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