Monkeypox has arrived in Yakima County. Yakima Health District officials say a Yakima County resident has tested positive for the first known case in the area. Health officials say they're now working with the person to identify close contacts and providing those contacts with a vaccine to prevent further spread of monkeypox. The virus is rare and has been seen in the past mainly in Africa. But it's now in the Pacific Northwest.

Health officials are warning of how the virus can spread

A press release says the virus often spreads by contact with infected individuals.
More specifically the virus spreads through;
Direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, or bodily 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 bodily fluids
•pregnant people can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta

Some people are at a higher risk of the virus

Anyone can get monkeypox, but some individuals are at higher risk, such as
•persons less than 30 years of age,
•history of a sexually transmitted infection in the past year,
•HIV positive Monkeypox Symptoms Initially, monkeypox can cause some or all the symptoms below:
•Muscle aches and backache•Swollen lymph nodes
•A rash that can look like pimples or blisters that appear on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, like the hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus.

Take precautions before seeing a doctor say health officials

Before visiting a healthcare facility, individuals should call to notify their healthcare provider about their symptoms and whether they had any known recent exposure to a person with a rash or someone recently diagnosed with monkeypox. "Confirmed cases of monkeypox are contagious as soon as symptoms develop and continue to be contagious until the scabs fall off the rash. Individuals with monkeypox should isolate from others until the scabs fall of and a fresh layer of skin has formed. Most people recover in 2-4 weeks, but the disease can be serious, especially for immunocompromised people, children, people with a history of eczema, or people who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Washington state has received a limited amount of the monkeypox vaccine and Washington State Department of Health (WA DOH) has distributed vaccines to some local health jurisdictions across the state. "The Yakima Health District has received a very limited amount of the monkeypox vaccine.At this time, only close contacts are eligible for the monkeypox vaccine. If you experience any symptoms of monkeypox or develop a rash, contact your healthcare provider.”-Nathan Johnson, Local Emergency Response Coordinator, Yakima Health District

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