DOH Press Release: DOH Reports Two More Monkeypox Cases

Published on Jul 15, 2022 in Latest news from the department, Press room

HONOLULU – The Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) has identified two additional cases of monkeypox. This brings the total number of cases to eight.

One individual is a resident of the island of Hawaii with a history of mainland travel. The second newly reported case is a resident of Oʻahu. Links to previously reported cases are being investigated.

“The risk for most Hawaii residents remains low, but with the number of cases increasing across the country, we expect to identify more cases in Hawaii,” said Dr. Nathan Tan, deputy epidemiologist at the State. “We understand quite well how monkeypox is spread, primarily through close, intimate contact. The DOH continues to investigate cases, coordinate vaccination and treatment, and work with health care providers throughout the state.

The DOH continues to do contact tracing and coordinate vaccination and treatment, which can be effective in managing monkeypox infections. Currently, the DOH uses Hawaii’s limited vaccine allocation to vaccinate close contacts of people known to have monkeypox and for people who may have been exposed at high risk in places or areas where the monkeypox is actively spreading. The DOH organizes the distribution and administration of vaccines throughout the state. Vaccines are not available from health care providers at this time.

While most people diagnosed with monkeypox have mild to moderate illness, the rashes and sores can be itchy and painful. The infection begins with flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle aches, chills, exhaustion, and swollen lymph nodes. The infection progresses to a rash or sores, often on the hands, feet, chest, face, or genitals. People usually become ill within 21 days of exposure.

Monkeypox is transmitted primarily through close, intimate contact with bodily fluids, lesion material, or objects used by someone with monkeypox. Monkeypox can be spread by large respiratory droplets. These droplets generally cannot travel more than a few feet, so prolonged face-to-face contact is required.

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

Nationally, the current cases are spreading primarily among social networks of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men. In Hawaiʻi, at least some of the cases have been reported in gay or bisexual men. However, anyone in close contact with someone with monkeypox is at risk of infection, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

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Media Contact:

Katie Arita Chang

Acting Communications Director

E-mail: [email protected]

Phone: (808) 286-4806