Hawaii reports 2 additional cases of monkeypox, bringing total in ongoing outbreak to 18

FILE - This 2003 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control...
FILE - This 2003 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows mature, oval-shaped monkeypox virions, left, and spherical immature virions, right, obtained from a sample of human skin associated with the 2003 prairie dog outbreak.(Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regner/CDC via AP, File)
Published: Aug. 18, 2022 at 10:00 AM HST|Updated: Aug. 20, 2022 at 11:14 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Hawaii Department of Health on Thursday reported two additional cases of monkeypox, bringing the total number of infections in an ongoing outbreak to 18.

The additional cases include an Oahu resident whose case is still being investigated and a non-resident who was diagnosed on Oahu and had a recent history of travel outside Hawaii.

“While the risk to most Hawaii residents remains low, local transmission of monkeypox is occurring,” said Deputy State Epidemiologist Dr. Nathan Tan, in a statement. “The growing number of cases in Hawaii underscores the importance of vaccination—if you are eligible, please take this step to protect yourself and our community.”

The DOH is reminding residents that the JYNNEOS vaccine is available to those who are eligible:

  • Close contact in the last 14 days with a person with known or suspected monkeypox infection
  • Gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men and transgender individuals who have multiple or anonymous sexual partners
  • Anyone who is severely immunocompromised or has certain skin conditions AND who has a household member or sexual partner at high risk for monkeypox

DOH is offering vaccinations on Aug. 20 and Aug. 21 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Blaisdell Center.

Anyone who is eligible for the vaccine is asked to make an appointment online or by calling (808) 586-4462.

The state has so far received roughly 2,800 doses of JYNNEOS and continues to order more from the federal government.

DOH said more than 1,000 doses have been administered statewide.

The monkeypox virus spreads through prolonged skin-to-skin contact, including hugging, cuddling and kissing, as well as sharing bedding, towels and clothing.

The people who have gotten sick so far have been primarily men who have sex with men.

But health officials emphasize that the virus can infect anyone.

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