A presumptive case of monkeypox virus infection is being investigated in the Seattle, Washington area, according to Public Health – Seattle & King County.
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.
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 close 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.
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