Oregon man quarantined after testing positive for monkeypox
Editor’s Note: KOIN 6 News originally reported that Marco Reyes Rojas delayed test results after a local clinic told him he would receive his results in three days. Reyes Rojas has since received the results and told KOIN 6 News at 5 p.m.
PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — As cases of monkeypox 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 tested positive for the virus.
Marco Reyes Rojas told KOIN 6 News that he had a big rash on his back along with painful sores, which are two major symptoms of monkeypox.
“At this point, I said ‘that’s it. It’s like monkey pox, what else could it be? “, explained Reyes Rojas.
Reyes Rojas said he first visited a local clinic on July 20 with symptoms including fever and two leg wounds. After testing negative for a series of STDs, he said the doctor was going to send him home.
“They were telling me everything was fine,” he explained. “I said to him, ‘I’ve done my own research on what monkey pox might be. Could you please test it? My doctor said she saw what Monkeypox is. And that’s not Monkeypox.
He added “then I just told her it would be my peace of mind and I would feel more comfortable if she did.”
According to Reyes Rojas, the clinic told him he would have the test results in three days. After three days, he said all he had was worsening symptoms, so he returned to the same clinic, this time seeing another doctor.
“She saw it and said ‘yes, it’s monkeypox but I can’t confirm that unless, you know, we have the results.’ And then that’s when I told them that actually an ER doctor had already tested me for this and I’m still waiting for the results from the lab and then she said “let me check your records” “Well, there’s nothing in my file. She said there’s nothing added in my file regarding monkeypox,” Reyes Rojas said.
He said the doctor tested him again and told KOIN 6 News on Thursday that the Multnomah County Health Department said his results were positive. The doctor told him to self-quarantine and told him if he should leave the house, cover up fully and wear gloves and a mask.
“I have no idea what’s going to happen to my body when it comes off. I don’t even know how it happens. I don’t even know anything. Nobody knows anything. The doctors just told me everything I’ve been reading online. And I’m browsing on my own with other people from, you know, the community that’s also dealing with this,” Reyes Rojas said.
He told KOIN 6 News that he hadn’t left the house all week and that friends were leaving food and groceries outside his door. Multnomah County Public Health reportedly told him he could not return to work until August 15 and noted that he would be contagious until the sores dried and peeled off his body. Officials said it could take up to four weeks, depending on the individual’s body.
“I’ve faced a lot of things in my life. I am an immigrant child who moved here at such a young age, having to fit in, learn, navigate the culture on my own. I had so many things to deal with, but this one is one of the hardest that I couldn’t do on my own,” said Reyes Rojas.
Multnomah County Public Health highlighted an appointment-based vaccination clinic in downtown Portland that is open two days a week.
KOIN 6 News contacted the clinic to inquire about any potential delays in testing and also contacted the Oregon Health Authority to inquire about the testing process and did not hear back.
A Gofundme page has been set up to help Reyes Rojas pay his rent while he is unable to work indefinitely.