May 23, 2022 - Health

Health officials investigating possible monkeypox case in Washington

Dr.Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health -- Seattle & King County, announced the first presumptive case of monkeypox in Washington state.

Dr. Jeff Duchin, health officer for public health for Seattle and King County. Photo: Jason Redmond/AFP via Getty Images

Public health officials in Washington announced Monday they’re investigating the state’s first presumptively positive case of monkeypox.

Details: The case involves an adult man who recently traveled to an undisclosed country where other monkeypox cases have been reported, state and local health officials said.

Driving the news: Washington now joins a handful of other states to report confirmed and possible cases, including Massachusetts, New York and Florida.

What they’re saying: Dr. Jeff Duchin, health officer for public health for Seattle and King County, said in a statement Monday that the public and health care providers “should be aware of the growing international monkeypox outbreak.”

  • The person believed to be infected with monkeypox is isolating and poses no risk at this time, Duchin said.
  • "At this time, we have no evidence that monkeypox is spreading locally, but if there are unrecognized cases, that is a possibility,” he added.

Why it matters: Health experts have said the current international outbreak is not likely to cause a global pandemic as COVID did, but some officials are increasingly voicing concern and raising public awareness about the virus.

  • President Biden, in his first public remarks about the monkeypox outbreak, said Sunday said the recent international outbreak is "something that everybody should be concerned about."

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