Vaccines are available to help prevent monkeypox infections. [Alain Jocard / Associated Press]
Jackson County Public Health reported a monkeypox infection Monday in an adult Jackson County resident.
The case still is being investigated. The risk to the community appears to be low, Jackson County Public Health said.
If confirmed, the monkey pox case would be the first in the county. Public health officials previously announced a possible monkeypox case Nov. 2, but further testing revealed that person did not have monkeypox.
Public health officials said the monkeypox outbreak in the United States is slowing. The decrease in cases is likely due to a combination of many factors, including vaccination, changes in behavior and possibly increases in infection immunity among a segment of affected populations.
People should continue to follow recommended prevention steps. People who have been exposed to the virus or who are at high risk of being exposed can protect themselves and the community by getting vaccinated, public health officials said.
To help prevent monkeypox, public health officials recommend:
- Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox.
- Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with monkeypox.
- Do not kiss, hug, cuddle or have sex with someone with monkeypox.
- Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with monkeypox.
- Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels or clothing of a person with monkeypox.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid contact with dead, live or exotic animals that can spread monkeypox virus, usually rodents and primates. This includes the bedding or other materials these animals have touched.
- If you’ve been diagnosed with a monkeypox infection, separate yourself from others who are well at home and avoid physical contact with others. Your medical professional and a public health professional will talk to you about how to best care for yourself while infectious.
Public health officials said there are no treatments specifically for monkeypox. However, monkeypox and smallpox viruses are genetically similar, which means vaccines and antiviral drugs developed to protect against smallpox may be used to prevent and treat monkeypox infections. These are distributed in conjunction with Oregon Health Authority and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
OHA expanded its eligibility criteria for the monkeypox vaccine. It now includes anyone who anticipates having, or who has had, recent direct skin-to-skin contact with at least one other person and who knows other people in their social circle or community who have had monkeypox.
People should check with their primary care providers to see if their providers carry the monkeypox vaccine, or call Jackson County Public Health at 541-774-8209.
Public health officials said people can be vaccinated following close contact exposure to monkeypox to help prevent illness from the virus. OHA and Jackson County Public Health will work together to identify and contact close contacts of confirmed or probable monkeypox cases.