HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Hawai’i Department of Health reported three additional cases of monkeypox in Hawaii. Two individuals are Oahu residents and the third individual is a visitor to Kaua’i.
The visitor was diagnosed on Kaua’i, “whose case is associated with travel outside of Hawaii,” according to DOH.
Monkeypox cases continue to increase across the country — and we expect to see more cases in Hawaiʻi. We continue to take action to support individuals diagnosed with monkeypox, conduct contact tracing, vaccinate close contacts and those with high-risk exposure, and educate the community.”DEPUTY STATE EPIDEMIOLOGIST DR. NATHAN TAN
DOH stated that individuals diagnosed with monkeypox may experience mild to moderate illness that includes rash, and sores that can be itchy and painful.
Although the risk remains low for Hawaii residents, if exposed to monkeypox they may notice “infections begin with flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle aches, chills, exhaustion and swollen lymph nodes,” according to DOH.
DOH said a limited amount of vaccine has been allocated for close contact of the individuals diagnosed in Hawaii and for those that have high-risk exposures in venues or areas where monkeypox is actively spreading.
DOH has distributed vaccines to all counties in Hawaii. However, vaccines are not yet available through healthcare providers at this time, according to DOH.
The health department expects the availability of the vaccine to increase soon. Monkeypox is spread through “intimate contact with body fluids, lesion material, or items used by someone with monkeypox, DOH added.
DOH concluded, “Nationwide, the current cases are primarily spreading among social networks of gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men.”
In Hawaii, DOH said, “some of the cases confirmed were 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.”
Individuals that suspect having monkeypox symptoms are advised to call their doctor immediately.
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