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Hawaii reports 2 new monkeypox cases as tally grows to 39

Nina Wu
                                A vial containing the monkeypox vaccine and a syringe are set on the table at a vaccination clinic run by the Mecklenburg County Public Health Department in Charlotte, N.C.
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A vial containing the monkeypox vaccine and a syringe are set on the table at a vaccination clinic run by the Mecklenburg County Public Health Department in Charlotte, N.C.

The count of monkeypox cases in Hawaii is now 39, with the addition of two new cases reported, according to the state Department of Health.

It appears that the two additional cases were identified — one on Oahu and one on Hawaii island, based on DOH’s tally since the state’s first reported case in June.

That tally now includes 27 for Oahu, four for Hawaii island, three for Kauai County and two for Maui County. Three cases were identified in out-of-state residents.

The new cases are now reported on DOH’s dashboard online and listed by the county of diagnosis.

In the U.S., total monkeypox and orthopoxvirus cases were reported to be more than 26,000 today, with two deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

One of the deaths occurred on Sept. 12 in a Los Angeles County resident who was severely immunocompromised and had been hospitalized, according to the Los Angeles Department of Public Health.

Monkeypox has now been reported in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The weekly average of new cases reported per day in the U.S., however, has trended down, from above 400 in early August to under 200 in late September, according to CDC’s U.S. case trends.

The symptoms of monkeypox include a severe rash, fever, headache, muscle aches, and swollen lymph nodes, along with exhaustion.

Those who contract monkeypox may experience all or only a few symptoms, with some only getting a rash, which may be located on or near the genitals or anus, or the hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth. The illness typically lasts two to four weeks.

CDC says monkeypox is spread through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact including direct contact with rashes or the bedding or towels used by someone with monkeypox. Monkeypox can also be spread by respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact.

Hawaii is offering the Jynneos vaccine for monkeypox — a two-dose series administered at least 28 days apart — to eligible residents statewide. More than 3,600 doses have been administered in Hawaii, so far, including more than 1,000-second doses. Appointments for second doses are encouraged.

Vaccination eligibility includes:

>> Those who have had close contact in the last 14 days with a person with known or suspected monkeypox infection;

>> Those who are gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men and transgender individuals who have multiple or casual sex partners (such as through dating apps).

>> Workers in certain occupational groups that conduct diagnostic testing or directly handle cultures with orthopoxviruses.

Vaccination sites are primarily offering intradermal vaccination to those 18 and older, which is administered into the outer layers of the skin, similar to a TB test, DOH said, which allows up to five doses per vial.

DOH says this federally approved technique provides the same, high level of protection from the monkeypox virus while allowing more people in Hawaii to be protected.

To make an appointment for the Jynneos vaccines, call DOH’s hotline at 808-586-4462 or visit health.hawaii.gov/docd/mpxvax. Parental consent is required for those under 18.

Other providers of the Jynneos vaccines include:


>> Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center (Waianae and Kapolei) 808-427-0442

>> Hawaii Health & Harm Reduction Center (Honolulu) 808-521-2437

>> Kaiser Permanente on Oahu (Mapunapuna) 808-432-2000, prompt 1


>> Malama I Ke Ola (Wailuku) 808-871-7772


>> Malama Pono Health Services 808-246-9577


>> Hamakua-Kohala Health (Honokaa) 808-930-2751

>> Kumukahi Health + Wellness (Hilo and Kona) 808-731-3743

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