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Hawaii reports third case of probable monkeypox; nationwide tally hits 45

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The Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) has identified a third probable case of monkeypox. 

In a release, officials said that the individual is a resident of Oahu who had attended a social gathering.

They presented symptoms consistent with monkeypox virus and testing by the State Laboratories Division detected orthopoxvirus.

The first case in the state – reported on June 3 – was confirmed as monkeypox by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and confirmatory testing is pending for the second case. 

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“This case does not have a history of travel and we are investigating links between this third case and the first two cases,” deputy state epidemiologist Dr. Nathan Tan said in a statement. “Individuals at increased risk should avoid anonymous sexual contact or events where individuals may have close bodily contact with others.”

However, the risk to most Hawaii residents remains low and vaccination is not recommended for the general public. 

Across the U.S., the CDC has now ducted 45 cases – only listing two in Hawaii. 

The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) announced its first probable monkeypox case in a male in his 30s. 

The resident of Providence County tested positive for orthopoxvirus and his case is believed to be related to travel to Massachusetts. 

“While monkeypox is certainly a concern, the risk to Rhode Islanders remains low – even with this finding. Monkeypox is a known – and remains an exceedingly uncommon – disease in the United States. Fortunately, there is a vaccine for monkeypox that can be given before or after exposure to help prevent infection,” Interim Health DirectorDr.  James McDonald said. “RIDOH continues to engage in active case finding and we have been communicating the latest information with healthcare providers so that they have the information they need to help us ‘identify, isolate, and inform’.”

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Down the East Coast, New York has broken into double digits, will 11 cases. California has eight. 

According to agency data, Florida now has five cases, Illinois has four and Colorado has three.

Utah and the District of Columbia both have two and Arizona, Georgia, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Washington state each has one.

On Monday, the CDC raised its alert level for monkeypox to level 2, warning people to practice “enhanced precautions.” 

Although the majority of new monkeypox cases have been seen in gay or bisexual men, experts caution that anyone is at potential risk. 

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People normally become infected with the monkeypox virus through contact with the skin lesions or bodily fluids of infected animals or humans or through contact with materials contaminated with the virus.

Monkeypox, which is related to smallpox, has milder symptoms. 

Some of those symptoms include fever, chills, rash and aches, before lesions develop. 

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