Oregon reports 1st potential human case of monkeypox


The Oregon Health Authority is reporting what it says could be the first human case of monkeypox in the state. It was found in a person who had traveled to an area with confirmed cases. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will confirm whether this is a monkeypox case.

OHA said on Thursday that the man is currently isolated and is following advice from public health officials and doctors. It said it is working with the CDC and local health officials to find everyone the man may have been around who may be at risk for exposure.

Information about where the man lives and where he visited was not released.

Dr. Richard Leman, Public Health Physician with OHA, said hMPXV, which is the human version of monkeypox, does not spread easily between people.

“Unlike COVID-19, which can be spread easily from person to person through the air over several feet of space, hMPXV spreads between people primarily through direct contact with infectious sores, scabs, or body fluids,” Leman said. “Less commonly, it can be spread by respiratory secretions during prolonged face-to-face contact.”

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OHA said the monkeypox strain that is circulating now causes milder disease than the other strain. 

There are currently 84 cases across 18 states and no deaths, OHA said.

What are the symptoms?

Initial symptoms of hMPXV often include fever, headache and muscle aches, OHA said in a statement.

About one to three days later, it’s followed by a rash, often on the face, spreading to the limbs.

“The rash starts with flat patches that then form large, firm bumps, which then fill with fluid or pus. These then scab and fall off, usually over two to four weeks. Symptoms usually start within seven to 14 days after exposure, with a range of five to 21 days,” OHA said.

When can a person ill with hMPXV spread it to others?

According to OHA, Ill people can potentially transmit the infection from when symptoms start until the rash has resolved. Again, it typically requires close contact.

“People at increased risk include sexual partners of an ill person, or family members and healthcare workers caring for someone ill with hMPXV,” OHA said.

Are there vaccines?

Jynneos is the vaccine for hMPXV and smallpox. OHA said it could be used to protect people with high-risk exposure to someone ill with hMPXV.

ACAM2000 is another vaccine approved to prevent smallpox.

“Vaccines would be used to protect people who have known exposure to someone ill with hMPXV infection,” OHA said. “It works to prevent or decrease disease even after someone was exposed. Members of the public who haven’t been exposed don’t need this vaccine.”


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