Second monkeypox case detected in Marion County

State health officials recently detected a second case of monkeypox in Marion County.

The new infection comes about a month after the Oregon Health Authority first detected hMPXV — the virus commonly known as monkeypox — in Marion County.

The county’s public health department has provided limited information about cases to protect confidentiality.

There are 108 confirmed cases and 71 presumptive cases of monkeypox in Oregon, according to Oregon Health Authority data last updated Wednesday. 

Of those infected, 136 are male.

A month ago, there were 68 confirmed cases and 48 presumptive cases statewide the week of Aug. 10.

Other counties with confirmed cases are Multnomah with 127, Lane with 21, Washington with 20, Clackamas with five, Columbia with two, and Coos and Union with one each.

The virus is disproportionately impacting Hispanic and Latino residents, who make up between 20% and 24% of Oregon’s cases. Hispanic or Latino people make up about 14% of the state’s population, according to 2021 census data.

The Oregon Health Authority updates its data on monkeypox cases every Wednesday.

State health officials announced Wednesday they are pivoting resources from tracking Covid toward other priorities including monkeypox, according to reporting from the Oregon Capital Chronicle.

Illness generally begins with fever, headaches and muscle aches, then one to three days later a rash — often in the face — spreading to the limbs, according to the health authority. The flat patches of rash eventually form large, firm bumps which then fill with fluid or pus, before scabbing and falling off typically over two to four weeks.

Monkeypox is primarily spread through close, skin-to-skin contact with lesions or a rash at different stages.  

Dr. Caroline Castillo, public health medical director for Marion County, said last month that the health department is intent on distributing the vaccine, which is in limited supply, to those disproportionally affected — men and transgender women who have sex with men, as well as the Latino community.

Contact reporter Ardeshir Tabrizian: [email protected] or 503-929-3053.

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Ardeshir Tabrizian has covered criminal justice and housing for Salem Reporter since September 2021. As an Oregon native, his award-winning watchdog journalism has traversed the state. He has done reporting for The Oregonian, Eugene Weekly and Malheur Enterprise.