Monkeypox case identified in Lane County

Courtesy photo

Second known case in Oregon, risk to public low

July 1, 2022 — Lane County Public Health (LCPH) has identified a case of monkeypox in the Eugene/Springfield area, not at a PeaceHealth facility. On June 30, the Oregon State Public Health Laboratory confirmed the case as probable and the lab test has been sent to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) for final confirmation. An additional case has been sent by LCPH to the state lab for review.

Risk to healthcare workers and the general public is low. The monkeypox virus can be transmitted from person-to-person by:

  • Respiratory droplets during direct and prolonged face-to-face contact; and
  • Direct contact with the skin or body fluids of an infected person (including sexual contact), or
  • Contact with virus-contaminated objects (such as bedding, towels or clothing).

This is the first monkeypox case identified locally. Thus far, there is one CDC confirmed case previously in Oregon and 396 across the United States.

We are continuously monitoring the situation and PeaceHealth is prepared with the appropriate processes and protocols in place.

“Thank you again for your support, as our caregivers work to safeguard and care for our colleagues, patients and our communities,” said Todd Salnas, Chief Executive, PeaceHealth Oregon Network in a bulletin alerting the public to the county’s first monkeypox case.

Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. Monkeypox virus belongs to the Orthopoxvirus genus in the family Poxviridae. The Orthopoxvirus genus also includes variola virus (which causes smallpox), vaccinia virus (used in the smallpox vaccine), and cowpox virus. Monkeypox is not related to chickenpox.

Monkeypox was first discovered in 1958 when two outbreaks of a pox-like disease occurred in colonies of monkeys kept for research. Despite being named “monkeypox”, the source of the disease remains unknown. However, African rodents and non-human primates (like monkeys) may harbor the virus and infect people.

The first human case of monkeypox was recorded in 1970. Since then, monkeypox has been reported in people in several other central and western African countries. Prior to the current outbreak, nearly all monkeypox cases in people outside of Africa were linked to international travel to countries where the disease commonly occurs, or through imported animals.

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