The first case of monkeypox has been detected in Eastern Washington.

A Tri-Cities man in his 50s has tested positive for the virus that causes monkeypox. He's currently in isolation, and his health care provider and the Benton Franklin Health District are working to identify anyone the man may have been in close contact with while he was infectious.

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The risk to the general public is low.

Dr. Amy Person with the Benton Franklin Health District said, “Despite the news of multiple cases nationwide, monkeypox is still a very rare disease in the United States." None of the monkeypox cases in the country have been deadly. However, the health district wants to alert health care providers and the public to be aware and to watch for monkeypox symptoms.

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What are monkeypox symptoms?

Fever, chills, exhaustion, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, and a rash that can look like pimples or blisters that appears on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, like the hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus.

How is monkeypox spread?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the virus can spread from person to person through:

*direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids
*respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact, or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling, or sex
*touching items (such as clothing or linens) that previously touched the infectious rash or body fluids
*pregnant people can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta
*It’s also possible for people to get monkeypox from infected animals, either by being scratched or bitten by the animal or by preparing or eating meat or using products from an infected animal.

Monkeypox cases were first detected in Washington state at the end of May 2022.

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