A patient at the Army Hospital in Hawaii is treated for suspected monkeypox

A patient at Tripler Army Medical Center in Hawaii was tested last week and treated for a suspected case of monkeypox, according to hospital officials.

Claudia Lamantia, a hospital spokeswoman, said the patient, who is not an active duty member, has been placed in isolation and is recovering.

The Hawaii Department of Health announced Friday that it is conducting contact tracing to determine if any area residents, hospital staff or patients have been exposed. Lamantia said she is not aware of any plans to start vaccinating anyone against the disease, which is also known as orthopoxvirus.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is currently working to confirm the diagnosis, with test results expected this week.

As of Sunday, there were 24 confirmed cases of monkeypox in 11 states in the US and 911 cases worldwide, including 225 in the UK – the most of any country during the current outbreak, which was first detected. Once in London on May 6. .

The United States saw its first case in Massachusetts on May 18.

Orthopoxvirus is spread through close and prolonged contact with an infected person or animal and is transmitted through contact with bodily fluids; contact with infectious sores, or smallpox, or through large respiratory droplets, which may settle on items used by an infected patient; Or during prolonged face-to-face contact with a patient, according to the Hawaii Department of Health.

Symptoms include flu-like illness, swollen lymph nodes, and a rash or sores, often on the hands, feet, chest, face, or genitals. Patients usually get sick within five to 21 days of exposure, and symptoms can last up to four weeks.

Hawaii State epidemiologist Dr Sarah Kimball said the risk remained low for Hawaiians because “monkeypox does not spread easily from person to person.”

“[The Department of Health] He continues to investigate cases and coordinates with federal authorities to ensure Hawaii has the resources we need to prevent and treat monkeypox infection.”

The CDC reported that early data indicated that initial cases of the disease outside Africa were apparently linked to gay and bisexual men who had sex with other men, but the CDC now stresses that “anyone who has been in contact with Someone close to someone with monkeypox is at risk.”

According to the CDC, “Anyone who develops a rash resembling monkeypox should contact their health care provider, even if they do not think they have been in contact” with a suspected case.

Although the risk remains low, it may be higher in those who have traveled outside the United States to a country with confirmed cases, have been in contact with live or dead animals or products derived from them from Africa, or are members of a community where smallpox has been monkeys. Prevalence, regardless of their gender or sexual orientation, according to the CDC.

Lamantia said she has visited the patient and described him as “fine” and hopes his condition will reinforce the same public health advice given to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. “Keep social distancing, wear a mask, practice good hygiene such as hand washing – that was the concern the patient wanted to express,” she said.

Patricia Kime can be reached at Patricia.Kime@Military.com. Follow her on Twitter @patriciakime

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