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Washington state reports first confirmed case of monkeypox

The following is a press release issued by the Washington State Department of Health on May 27th.

Washington State Department of Health (DOH) and Public Health—Seattle and King County (PHSKC) announced the first confirmed case of monkeypox in the state. The person, a King County resident, did not require hospitalization and is isolating at home.

PHSKC is working to identify others who may have been exposed. To date, no one who was exposed is considered a possible positive case. Depending on the situation, people who had close or intimate exposure to a person with monkeypox might be advised to get a vaccine for monkeypox. Because of this, it is important to identify people who were exposed.

DOH, local health jurisdictions, and the Centers for Prevention and Disease Control (CDC) are coordinating to provide vaccine to exposed contacts who choose to receive it. Vaccines to prevent monkeypox are not recommended for the public.

“Despite the news of multiple cases nationwide, monkeypox is a very rare disease in the United States and the Washington resident who tested positive does not pose a public health risk,” said Umair A. Shah, MD, MPH, Secretary of Health. 

Dr. Jeff Duchin, health officer for PHSKC added, “Although I think it’s unlikely that we will have a large outbreak locally, it is possible that there are additional cases in the community. Anyone with symptoms of monkeypox should consult a healthcare provider.”

Transmission of monkeypox requires close interaction with a symptomatic individual. According to the CDC, brief interactions that do not involve physical contact and healthcare interactions conducted using appropriate protective equipment are not high risk.

People who may have symptoms of monkeypox should contact their healthcare provider. Before the visit, they should notify their healthcare provider that they are concerned about monkeypox, and whether they recently had close contact with a person who had a similar rash or a person who has been diagnosed with monkeypox.

More information about monkeypox can also be found on the PHSKC blog.

Washington State Department of Health (May 27, 2022)

The following explains about monkeypox according to

Monkeypox is a rare viral illness that is uncommon in the U.S. The illness can begin with flu-like symptoms and swelling of the lymph nodes followed by a rash on the face and body or with an isolated rash in the genital or groin area, sometimes without other symptoms. When the rash involves the groin, it can be mistaken for other more common causes of sexually transmitted infections.

People should be alert for the appearance of new rashes characterized by sores, bumps or fluid filled bumps and seek medical evaluation if they develop such a rash.

Most people recover in 2-4 weeks, but the disease can be serious, especially for immunocompromised people, children, and pregnant women.

As of this morning [5-23-2022], in addition to this case, the CDC is aware of one confirmed and four other presumptive monkeypox cases in the U.S. Over 100 confirmed and suspected cases have been reported from the UK and Europe where health officials report many cases among men who have sex with men and likely sexual transmission.

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