Editor’s note: KOIN 6 News originally reported that Marco Reyes Rojas had delayed test results after a local clinic reportedly told him he would receive his results in three days. Reyes Rojas has since received the results and informed KOIN 6 News by 5 p.m.
PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – While monkeypox cases have spread across the Pacific Northwest — with 51 confirmed cases in Oregon and 103 in Washington — KOIN 6 News spoke to a Portland man who has tested positive for the virus.
Marco Reyes Rojas told KOIN 6 News he has a large rash on his back along with painful sores, which are two major symptoms of monkeypox.
“At this point, I said ‘this is it. This is a monkeypox like, what else could it be?’” Reyes Rojas explained.
Reyes Rojas said he first went to a local clinic on July 20 with symptoms including a fever and two sores on his leg. After testing negative for a series of STD’s, he said the doctor was going to send him home.
“They were telling me everything’s fine,” he explained. “I told her ‘I’ve been doing my own research of what monkeypox could be. Could you please test it?’ My doctor said that she’s seen what Monkeypox is. And that, that is not Monkeypox.”
He added “then I just told her that it would be my peace of mind and I would feel more comfortable if she did it.”
According to Reyes Rojas, the clinic told him he would have the test results in three days. After three days went by, he said all he had was worsening symptoms, so he went back to the same clinic, this time seeing a different doctor.
“She saw it and was like ‘yeah, this is monkeypox but I can’t confirm it unless, you know, we get the results.’ And then that’s when I told them actually, a doctor at urgent care already tested me for this and I’m still waiting for the lab results. And then she said ‘let me check on your file.’ Well, there’s nothing on my file. She said that there was nothing added on my file about monkeypox,” Reyes Rojas said.
He said that doctor tested him again, and told KOIN 6 News on Thursday the Multnomah County Health Department said his results came back positive. The doctor told him to quarantine and said if he needs to leave the house, to fully cover his body and wear gloves and a mask.
“I have no idea what’s gonna happen to my body when it comes off. I don’t even know how it comes off. I don’t even know anything. No one knows anything. The doctors have just told me whatever I read online. And I’m just navigating this on my own with other people from, you know, the community that are also dealing with this,” Reyes Rojas said.
He told KOIN 6 News he hasn’t left the house all week and friends are leaving food and groceries outside his door. Multnomah County Public Health reportedly told him he cannot return to work until August 15, and noted he will be contagious until the sores dry and peel off his body. Officials said this could take up to four weeks, depending on the individual’s body.
“I’ve dealt with things in my life a lot. I’m an immigrant child who moved here at such a young age, having to integrate, having to learn, navigate culture in my own. I’ve had so much to deal with, but this one has one of the hardest ones that I couldn’t do on my own,” Reyes Rojas said.
Multnomah County Public Health highlighted an appointment-based vaccination clinic in downtown Portland that is open two days a week.
The Oregon Health Authority told KOIN 6 they are not aware of any testing delays. State health officials said the Oregon State Public Health Laboratory and seven private labs are providing testing, with a turnaround time of about 1-3 days for results.
KOIN 6 News also reached out to the clinic to ask about any potential testing delays but has not heard back.
A Gofundme page has been set up to help Reyes Rojas pay his rent while he is indefinitely unable to work.