First monkeypox case confirmed in Snohomish County

It is one of at least 15 confirmed and probable cases across Washington, according to the Snohomish Health District.

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EVERETT — The first known case of monkeypox in Snohomish County was confirmed Friday, the Snohomish Health District announced Monday.

It is one of at least 15 confirmed and probable cases identified in Washington. On Monday, the CDC reported 9,647 confirmed cases of monkeypox worldwide and 866 in the United States.

Symptoms of monkeypox include a rash that can appear anywhere on the body, flu-like symptoms and swollen lymph nodes. The virus is transmitted to humans through close contact with an infected person or animal, or by touching something contaminated with the virus. On average, symptoms appear in humans within three weeks of exposure.

Monkeypox can be spread through sexual contact and other skin-to-skin contact. While many of those affected in the current global monkeypox outbreaks are gay or bisexual men, anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has the virus can get the illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

There are no treatments specifically developed for monkeypox virus infections, according to the CDC. Monkeypox and smallpox are genetically similar. Antiviral drugs and vaccines developed to protect against smallpox may be used to prevent and treat monkeypox virus infections, according to the CDC.

Most people recover from the illness two to four weeks after infection and do not require hospitalization, according to the Snohomish Health District, but the disease can be serious, especially for immunocompromised people, children and pregnant people.

Monkeypox health suggestions from the Snohomish Health District:

• Be aware. While monkeypox remains generally low risk in Washington, those at higher risk of exposure should consider precautions. This can include avoiding close physical contact with anyone who has symptoms, particularly open wounds, sores or rashes.

• Be alert for the appearance of a new rash or rashes characterized by sores, bumps or fluid-filled bumps.

• Those with symptoms, or those who have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with monkeypox in the past three weeks, should contact a health care provider.

• Those at higher risk in the current outbreak include men who have sex with men, people who are sexually active with multiple partners, and people traveling to areas where monkeypox is spreading more widely.

Ellen Dennis: 425-339-3486; ellen.dennis@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @reporterellen.

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