Updated: September 30, 2022
Today, the Hawaiʻi Department of Health reported four more cases of monkeypox, including a Maui resident whose case remains under investigation.
The other cases are a Big Island resident whose case is related to community exposure and two O’ahu residents whose cases remain under investigation.
There are now 22 monkeypox cases reported in Hawaiʻi since June 3. Monkeypox is a viral disease that can have severe affects for some people. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes in the throat or groin, chills and exhaustion, and a rash, which often begins on the face and spreads to other parts of the body including the genitals. The rash may look like pimples or blisters.
Individuals with monkeypox symptoms, including flu-like symptoms, swollen lymph nodes, or new or unexplained rash or sores, should immediately contact their healthcare provider. Testing and treatment are available through healthcare providers. The Department of Health continues to conduct contact tracing and follow-up with all reported cases.
“With nearly 16,000 monkeypox cases reported in the United States, it’s expected that we will see more cases in Hawaiʻi,” said Dr. Nathan Tan, Deputy State Epidemiologist. “We encourage all eligible individuals to get vaccinated to stop the spread of monkeypox and protect 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
- Persons who have a household member or sex partner at high risk for monkeypox
Individuals who are eligible for vaccination on Maui can make an appointment by contacting Malama I Ke Ola at 808-871-7772.
The Department of Health has received approximately 4,400 doses of JYNNEOS and continues to order Hawaiʻi’s full allocation from the federal government. Nearly 1,800 doses have been administered.
JYNNEOS is a two-dose series administered 28 days apart. Individuals eligible for a second dose are encouraged to make an appointment.
The risk to most Hawaiʻi residents remains low. 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.
Vaccinations are available on all four main Hawaiian islands.
Statewide, individuals eligible for the vaccination can contact the Hawai’i Department of Health at 808-586-4462 or go online at health.hawaii.gov/docd/mpxvax. Kaua’i residents also can call 808-241-3495.
For residents on O’ahu, call the Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center at 808-427-0442 (sites in Waianae and Kapolei) and the Hawai’i Health & Harm Reduction Center at 808-521-2437 (sites in Honolulu).