PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — There has been one confirmed case of monkeypox in Oregon and five presumptive cases in the state as of Thursday, according to officials with the Oregon Health Authority.
The six cases in Oregon were all reported in men, according to OHA. The first case, which is now confirmed, was reported on June 16 in Multnomah County. Since then, health officials have detected five more presumptive cases, with three of those cases reported on Wednesday in Lane and Washington counties.
As more Oregonians contract monkeypox, state health officials are working with federal partners to get more vaccines. Oregon reportedly has 193 doses of the vaccine.
“The demand and the need for vaccines currently outweighs and outstrips the supply,” said Dr. Tim Menza, senior health advisor for OHA.
According to Dr. Menza, the current outbreak is presenting atypical with many symptoms being milder than what is usually reported. Along with that, he warned community transmission is more likely to go undetected since many are not having flu-like symptoms and the rash is spreading more diffusely.
Menza also says anyone can be affected by the virus, but the latest global outbreak has largely affected sexually active gay and bisexual men.
“For the community, especially members of the LGBTQI+ community, we have to take a deep breath,” Menza said. “(Monkeypox) may call up the deep trauma of having lived through two pandemics only to face a potential third.”
To offset the demand, vaccines are being directed to individuals who have had contact with someone with monkeypox.
Story continues after the full press conference below
A vaccine can be given both before and after exposure to the virus; however, with such a limited supply, health officials are prioritizing those who were exposed.
Further, an anti-viral treatment is available for people at risk for severe disease
Officials note that the monkeypox virus is rare but potentially serious and typically includes flu-like symptoms, swelling of the lymph nodes and a rash. Most infections last between two to four weeks.
KOIN 6 Reporter Jenny Young contributed to this story.