Hawaii looks into possible first case of monkeypox in state

By Alfred Acenas
Eagle News Service

HONOLULU (Eagle News) – Hawaii’s Department of Health (DOH) announced on Friday, June 3, that an adult Oahu resident currently hospitalized at Tripler Army Medical Center had displayed symptoms consistent with monkeypox.

The said individual recently traveled to an area with confirmed cases of the rare disease.

[ File : Screenshot_20220604-070805_Gallery.jpg ] (FILE) Despite more than two months of surging new COVID-19 cases and now speculation of monkeypox in the Islands, Hawaii’s tourism industry marches on in hopes of an economic rebound this summer. (Photo by Mio Acenas, EBC Hawaii-Pacific Bureau, Eagle News Service)

Testing by the DOH Laboratories Division detected orthopoxvirus, of which monkeypox is a type. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will perform further testing for confirmation sometime next week.

“Monkeypox does not spread easily from person to person, and the risk remains low for most Hawaii residents,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Kemble. “DOH continues case investigation and is coordinating with federal authorities to ensure that Hawaii has the resources we need to prevent and treat monkeypox infection.”

Infection from monkeypox begins with flu-like symptoms and swollen lymph nodes, and progresses to a rash or sores, often on the hands, feet, chest, or face. Individuals generally become ill within 21 days of exposure.

Monkeypox can spread through close, prolonged contact with an infected person or animal. The virus can also be spread through large respiratory droplets.

Healthcare providers should immediately report to the DOH of suspected cases of monkeypox, while also being alert for patients who have rash illnesses, especially in those with a recent travel history to areas reporting monkeypox cases.

(Eagle News Service)