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OHA confirms second pediatric monkeypox case

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The Oregon Health Authority has identified a second pediatric case of monkeypox in Oregon.

Local public health officials confirmed that the case was not linked to school, child care or other community settings, according to a Sept. 21 news release. No cases of monkeypox have been reported in Linn or Benton counties.

“Pediatric monkeypox cases have happened around the country during the nationwide outbreak, and unfortunately Oregon is no exception,” said Dr. Dean Sidelinger, health officer and state epidemiologist at OHA. “As we have stated previously, this virus can affect anyone.”

Because the most common form of transmission is direct contact with the rashes, the risk of monkeypox spreading in school settings is low, Sidelinger emphasized.

It is not easily spread unless there is prolonged, skin-to-skin contact with an infected person.

As of Wednesday, the new pediatric case is among a total of 204 presumptive and confirmed cases of monkeypox in Oregon.

The cases are in nine counties: 141 in Multnomah; 24 in Washington; 22 in Lane; six each in Clackamas and Marion; two in Columbia; and one each in Coos, Hood River and Union.

The Oregon child was tested for monkeypox Sept. 14, and the test results were reported to public health Sept. 19.

To protect patient confidentiality, OHA is not disclosing the child’s sex, age, county of residence or how the child is believed to have acquired the illness. A pediatric case is defined as someone with the virus in the 0-17 age range.

OHA encourages vaccination against monkeypox for anyone who anticipates having, or has had, recent, direct, skin-to-skin contact with someone who has monkeypox.

People who suspect they have monkeypox should contact their health care provider to let them know before being seen, as providers may recommend testing, according to OHA.

Those who don’t have a health care provider can call 211 or their local public health authority to get help finding a clinic or health care provider, the agency suggests.

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