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Washington State News

First Case of Moneypox Identified in King County, Washington

OLYMPIA – UPDATE – The first case of Monkeypox has officially been confirmed in King County. The Washington State Department of Health and Public Health – Seattle and King County announced the presumptive case being investigated early this week has been confirmed on Friday, May 27.

The ill individual is a King County resident. It has been reported they did not require hospitalization and are quarantined at their residence.

Public Health stated they are working to contact all individuals who were in contact with the positive persons. However, so far, no one exposed has been identified as a presumptive positive case.

“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.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Public Health – Seattle & King County, with support from Washington State Department of Health, is investigating a presumptive case of monkeypox virus infection reported to Public Health yesterday. The case is in an adult male with international travel in the past month to a country that has also reported monkeypox cases recently. 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).

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.

“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.”

“We at DOH continue to work with Public Health – Seattle & King County and CDC to support the investigation of this case. The risk to the public is low, but it’s important for clinicians and the public to be aware of the symptoms and risk factors for monkeypox,” said Dr. Tao Kwan-Gett, Washington State Chief Science Officer.