First Case Of Monkeypox Reported In Washington State

King County officials are investigating a presumptive first case of monkeypox in Washington State. Monkeypox was first discovered in 1958 and the first case of human monkeypox was recorded in 1970 in the Congo according to the CDC website.

Monkey Pox Lesions
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King County Health Officials Are Investigating Monkeypox Case

In a press release from Seattle and King County and the Washington Department of Health, an adult make who recently traveled internationally to a country with several monkeypox cases reported.

Initial testing confirming an orthopoxviral infection was completed on Monday, May 23, 2022, at the Washington State Public Health Laboratory. Confirmatory testing will be done at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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Here are details from the press release:

Public Health is working with the patient and the patient's health care providers to identify individuals who may have been in contact with the patient while he was infectious. The individual is isolating and does not pose a risk to others at this time. We have not identified any high-risk exposures in King County, and we are following up with people who had potential low risk exposures.


The individual was not hospitalized and is recovering at home.

Monkeypox Is A Rare Viral Illness That Is Uncommon In The U.S.

"The public and healthcare providers should be aware of the growing international monkeypox outbreak," said Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County. "At this time, we have no evidence that monkeypox is spreading locally, but if there are unrecognized cases, that is a possibility."

"People should understand that the disease can affect anyone and those who are most at risk are those who have had close physical contact with someone with monkeypox. The risk is not limited to men who have sex with men.

"Anyone who has symptoms of monkeypox, or has been in contact with someone with monkeypox, should be evaluated by a healthcare provider. This is especially important for those who have also traveled in the last 30 days to a region reporting monkeypox cases, or who is a man who has sex with other men."

Monkey Pox Lesions
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Here's What You Need To Do If You Suspect A Case Of Monkeypox

People who may have symptoms of monkeypox should contact their healthcare provider. This includes anyone who:

  • traveled to central or west African countries, parts of Europe where monkeypox cases have been reported, or other areas with confirmed cases of monkeypox during the month before their symptoms began,
  • had contact with a person with confirmed or suspected monkeypox, or,
  • is a man who regularly has close or intimate contact with other men, including through an online website, digital application ("app"), or at a bar or party.

Monkeypox symptoms include 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.

The virus does not spread easily between people; the transmission can occur through contact with body fluids, monkeypox sores, items that have been contaminated with fluids or sores (clothing, bedding, etc.), or through respiratory droplets (saliva) from a case entering the eyes or mouth following prolonged face-to-face contact.

You can get more details about the case from the press release located here and you can research more about monkeypox on the CDC's website here

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