Lane County identifies two cases of monkeypox; nearly 400 cases found nationwide

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Lane County Public Health officials reported Friday two county residents are sick with monkeypox, a potentially serious viral illness that can cause flu-like symptoms and sores, according to a news release.

LCPH said the two cases, both in adults, were identified by testing at the Oregon State Public Health Laboratory, and test samples have been sent to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for final confirmation. LCHP has not established an epidemiological link between the cases, but at least one of the patients now is isolating at home.

These are some of the very first cases to be identified in Oregon. Since May, 396 cases of monkeypox have been identified in the United States, according to the LCPH news release. The outbreak has not caused any known deaths.

FAQ:How to get a vaccine against monkeypox in the US. Who should get one?

Monkeypox is a rare but potentially serious, viral illness that typically involves flu-like symptoms, swelling of the lymph nodes and a rash that includes bumps that are initially filled with fluid before scabbing over, according to the news release. Illness could be confused with sexually transmitted infections such as syphilis or herpes, or chickenpox.

Most infections last two to four weeks, according to the news release.

A handout picture made available by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) on June 22, 2022, shows a collage of monkeypox rash lesions at an undisclosed date and location.
A handout picture made available by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) on June 22, 2022, shows a collage of monkeypox rash lesions at an undisclosed date and location.

Monkeypox is transmitted person-to-person through skin-to-skin contact, having contact with an infectious rash, through body fluids or through respiratory secretions, according to the news release. Such contact often occurs during prolonged, face-to-face contact or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling or sex.

In the news release, Lane County Deputy Public Health Officer Dr. Lisandra Guzman said there are likely other cases.

"The number of monkeypox cases has been growing in the U.S.," Guzman said in the news release. "We are encouraging doctors to consider this in people who have a rash or skin lesion that looks like monkeypox."

LCPH is working to identify and notify individuals who may have been in contact with infectious patients.

People can take basic steps to prevent the spread of monkeypox.

If you have an unexplained rash, sores or other symptoms, see your health care provider or a public health clinic. Keep the rash covered and avoid being intimate with anyone until you have been checked out. Standard household cleaners and detergents are effective at cleaning environmental surfaces and linens, according to the news release.

Contact reporter Adam Duvernay at aduvernay@registerguard.com. Follow on Twitter @DuvernayOR.

This article originally appeared on Register-Guard: Lane County identifies two cases of monkeypox