Oregon monkeypox outbreak declared: 95 cases, none in Central Oregon


Oregon health officials announced the state has 95 cases of monkeypox Thursday, less than a week after declaring an outbreak.

“The number of cases among individuals who’ve had close intimate contact with someone who has monkeypox in increasing,” Oregon State Epidemiologist Dean Sidelinger said.

The cases involve 92 men and three women.

Symptoms include lesions and rashes that can be painful. Less severe symptoms include fever, sore throat and fatigue.

Online claims that monkeypox only impacts the LGBTQ+ community are simply not true.

“Anyone with skin is susceptible to the virus,” said Katie Cox, Executive Director of the Equi Institute. It’s an advocacy group for the LGBTQ+ community. “We need to be focusing on risk based on behavior and not identity.”

RELATED: What is monkeypox? A microbiologist explains what’s known about smallpox cousin

Monkeypox primarily spreads through prolonged skin-to-skin contact, but can also be transmitted through bedding, clothing or items such as towels used by an infected person. In rare cases, it can be contracted through large respiratory droplets. 

OHA reminds people that this is not what was faced at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is an outbreak where we already have an FDA-approved vaccine and antivirals,” Lane County M.D. Patrick Luedtke said. “That doesn’t always happen with outbreaks in the past, COVID-19 certainly being one of them.”

The declaration also comes shortly before the school year begins. 

“We are having discussions with our Oregon Department of Education colleagues, but we don’t anticipate that schools will be places where monkeypox transmits commonly,” Sidelinger said.

Cases have been reported in seven Oregon counties:

  • Multnomah – 57
  • Lane – 17
  • Washington – 15
  • Clackamas – 3
  • Columbia – 1
  • Coos – 1
  • Marion -1

Monkeypox has not yet been reported in Deschutes, Jefferson or Crook Counties. Deschutes County has created a web page with monkeypox information. 



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