Lane County Public Health announced Wednesday that four new cases of the monkeypox virus have been identified among Lane County residents. These are the first new cases of monkeypox identified since Sept. 12.
To date, no epidemiological link between the cases has been identified, indicating a continued presence of monkeypox in Lane County. Public health is conducting case investigations to identify other people who may have been exposed.
“We have been very fortunate that we have not seen more monkeypox in our community,” Dr. Patrick Luedtke, the county’s senior public health officer, said in a news release. “However, these latest cases clearly demonstrate that it is still present and infecting people, highlighting the need for continued awareness and preventative practices.”
Monkeypox cases, which have predominantly impacted LGBTQ people, were reported in large cities across the U.S. this summer. Cases reportedly dropped dramatically earlier this fall across the nation.
Oregonians who got their first dose of the monkeypox vaccine were set to begin receiving calls from public health officials to get their second dose earlier this month, according to the Oregon Health Authority.
OHA encourages anyone who receives the calls to share concerns or questions and schedule a time to get the second dose. You can get a second dose at least 28 days after the first one.
Monkeypox symptoms usually start within three weeks of exposure to the virus. If someone has flu-like symptoms, they will usually develop a rash one to four days later.
A person with monkeypox can spread it to others from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed. Some people have been found to have infection but no symptoms. However, there is not yet any evidence that suggests monkeypox can spread from people with no symptoms.
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People with monkeypox get a rash that may be located on or near the genitals or anus and could be on other areas like the hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth. The rash will go through several stages, including scabs, before healing. The rash can initially look like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itchy.
Other symptoms of monkeypox can include fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, exhaustion, muscle aches and backache, headache and respiratory symptoms (sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough).
People with a new or unexplained rash or other symptoms should avoid close contact with others, including sex or being intimate, until seeing a health care provider. Those without a provider or health insurance can call Lane County Public Health at 541-682-4041.
Contact reporter Tatiana Parafiniuk-Talesnick at Tatiana@registerguard.com or 541-338-2454, and follow her on Twitter @TatianaSophiaPT.