Updated: December 6, 2023
The Hawaiʻi Department of Health is reporting two additional cases of monkeypox. The latest cases involve:
- An Oʻahu resident whose case is not related to travel. Links to prior cases are under investigation.
- A non-resident diagnosed on Oʻahu whose case is related to travel outside of Hawaiʻi.
This brings the total number of cases reported in Hawaiʻi since June 3 to 18. DOH continues to conduct contact tracing and follow-up with all reported cases.
“While the risk to most Hawaiʻi residents remains low, local transmission of monkeypox is occurring,” said Deputy State Epidemiologist Dr. Nathan Tan in a department press release. “The growing number of cases in Hawaiʻi underscores the importance of vaccination—if you are eligible, please take this step to protect yourself and our community.”
The JYNNEOS vaccine is available statewide to Hawaiʻi residents 18 and older. Vaccination eligibility includes:
- Close contact in the last 14 days with a person with known or suspected monkeypox infection;
- Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men and transgender individuals who have multiple or anonymous sex partners;
- Persons with severe immune compromise (e.g., advanced or poorly controlled HIV infection, active cancer treatment, high-dose steroids) or certain skin conditions, such as eczema; AND who have a household member or sex partner at high risk for monkeypox.
DOH and healthcare providers in each county who directly reach individuals at higher risk of monkeypox exposure continue to vaccinate eligible individuals. Individuals eligible for vaccination can make an appointment by contacting:
DOH has received approximately 2,800 doses of JYNNEOS and continues to order Hawaiʻi’s full allocation from the federal government. More than 1,000 doses have been administered.
JYNNEOS is a two-dose series administered approximately four weeks apart. The vaccine may be administered between layers of the skin, similar to a TB skin test, or under the skin. Both routes of administration provide the same level of protection.
The DOH reports that Monkeypox is mainly spread through close, intimate contact with body fluids, lesion material, or items used by someone with monkeypox. Monkeypox may be spread through large respiratory droplets. These droplets generally cannot travel more than a few feet, so prolonged contact is required.
“Nationwide, the current cases are primarily spreading among social networks of gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men. In Hawaiʻi, at least some of the cases have been reported among gay or bisexual men. However, anyone who has close contact with someone with monkeypox is at risk of infection, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity,” according to a DOH news release.
Individuals with monkeypox symptoms, including flu-like symptoms, swollen lymph nodes, or new or unexplained rash or sores, are asked to immediately contact their healthcare provider.