Joint release to Monkeypox/hMPXV | Clatsop County, Oregon


RELEASED: August 12, 2022

Joint discharge from Clatsop County Public Health, Columbia Memorial Hospital and Providence Seaside Hospital

Both the federal government and the World Health Organization have declared hMPXV a public health emergency. The current hMPXV situation requires a coordinated, robust response. The term “emergency” is not intended to create panic, but to help mobilize resources to respond to the outbreak. It will strengthen our ability to respond through case investigations, contact tracing, vaccinating those in need, caring for the sick and other needs.

As of August 10, about 32,000 confirmed cases have been reported worldwide, including more than 9,500 in the United States. A total of 95 confirmed and suspected cases were recorded in seven counties in Oregon. According to the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), about 90% of those infected are male (about 70% of them are men who have sex with men), and about 30% are Latinx. No cases have been reported in Clatsop County.

The Clatsop County Department of Health, Columbia Memorial Hospital, Providence Seaside Hospital and local healthcare providers are ready to work together on the county’s response to this outbreak.


hMPXV is a viral zoonosis. This means that a virus initially jumps from an animal to a human and then spreads among humans. The virus is the cousin of smallpox. Prior to this outbreak, most infections were reported in rodents and non-human primates. Although generally less serious and contagious than smallpox, hMPXV can be an uncomfortable and sometimes serious illness.

The current circulating version of hMPXV has a greater than 99% survival rate once infected, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As more people get hMPXV, the more likely it is to mutate and become more transmissible or deadly.

Most people with hMPXV get better on their own without treatment. Antiviral therapeutics are only recommended for severe cases that are hospitalized, per the CDC


Most cases in the current outbreak are due to direct, prolonged skin contact with active lesions. Although not observed in the current outbreak, theoretically contact with contaminated objects (e.g. towels, bedding or other fomites containing bodily fluids) or prolonged close face-to-face contact with a sick person could lead to transmission .

The overall risk of transmission is low (basic reproduction number ~2) and the greatest risk occurs after intimate skin-to-skin contact.


In the current onset, all patients have a solitary or diffuse rash associated with pain. The rash often looks like pimples or blisters at first. It can be on or near the genitals or anus. The rash typically develops in several stages: flat patches or patches; then to firm, deep-seated papules; and finally scabs and scabs over. Other symptoms include fever, headache, and muscle aches. The illness usually lasts 2-4 weeks


Vaccines to prevent and reduce disease symptoms are available in the United States. The CDC recommends that individuals be vaccinated within four days of exposure and no later than two weeks after exposure.

Deliveries are ramping up compared to weeks ago, but will continue to be prioritized for those at greatest risk of infection. The side effects of the vaccination include a slight fever, tiredness and swollen glands as well as redness and itching at the vaccination site.


To avoid close skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like hMPXV, the CDC recommends the following steps to prevent contracting hMPXV:

  1. Do not touch the rash or scab on a person with hMPXV;
  2. Not kissing, hugging, cuddling, or having sex with someone with hMPXV;
  3. Do not share cutlery or cups with a person with hMPXV;
  4. Wear gloves when handling or touching bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with hMPXV.

Always wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.


If you have symptoms of hMPXV, including a skin rash with pain, see your doctor or call 211 if you don’t have one.

If you are clinically diagnosed with hMPXV, isolate yourself at home and stay away from other people and pets you live with. They are being contacted by the Clatsop County Health Department to help with contact tracing to track the disease and stop its spread.

If you think you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for hMPXV, please contact Clatsop County Dept. of Public Health 503-325-8500.

For more informations:

Oregon Health Authority—Monkeypox

Centers for Disease Control – About monkeypox


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