Two cases of monkeypox have been confirmed in Benton County as of Monday. (Photo by Pixelshot via Canva)

The first cases of monkeypox have been reported in Benton County, health officials reported on Monday.

The Benton County Health Department in a news release said that there are two known cases with both of those individuals following recommendations from public health officials and medical providers.

According to the health department, when someone tests positive for monkeypox (hMPXV), all close contacts of the individual are contacted and information is provided with options for testing, treatment and vaccination. The health department does not disclose protected health information, which includes anything that could identify a specific patient.

“While anyone can get hMPXV, risk is higher for individuals who have engaged in prolonged skin-to-skin contact with people who are infected,” the health department said. “If you have been notified you are a close contact or are aware of someone in your social circles who has or has had hMPXV, or if you are otherwise at high risk of exposure, you should seek vaccination.”

In addition to ongoing focused outreach to higher risk populations, the health department has partnered with the Oregon Health Authority and Oregon State University to offer the Jynneos vaccine at upcoming COVID-19 vaccination clinics on the Corvallis campus this week. The vaccine will be available for free with no health insurance required. The OSU clinics run Nov. 15-17 from noon-4 p.m. at the OSU Memorial Union, Room 62 (2501 SW Jefferson Way, Corvallis).

To arrange a Jynneos vaccination or for those who are unsure if they should be vaccinated, the health officials recommend speaking to their medical provider or by contacting the Benton County Health Department, 541-766-6835; Samaritan Infectious Disease, 541-768-5810 or self-schedule online; or OSU Student Health Services (OSU students only), 541-737-9355.

Visit the OHA website for more information on monkeypox, including symptoms and how people can protect themselves.

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