Published on behalf of the University’s Advisory Committee on Communicable Diseases
Public Health – Seattle & King County and Washington State Department of Health are investigating a presumptive case of monkeypox infection in King County. The individual had recently traveled to a country where monkeypox cases were reported. Currently, there is no evidence to suggest that monkeypox is spreading locally.
Monkeypox is a rare viral illness that does not spread easily between people; however, it can be spread through direct contact with bodily fluids from an infected person, sores, rashes or contaminated items such as clothing or bedding, and prolonged face-to-face contact.
The illness can begin with flu-like symptoms, followed by a rash on the face and body or an isolated rash in the genital or groin area.
People who develop new, unexplained skin rash (lesions on any part of the body), with or without fever and chills, should seek medical care immediately and avoid contact with others. Tell your doctor if in the month before developing symptoms:
- You had contact with a person who might have had monkeypox.
- You are a man who has had intimate contact (including sex) with other men.
- You were in an area where monkeypox has been reported or in an area where monkeypox is more commonly found.
If you are sick and could have monkeypox, delay travel and don’t take public transportation until you have been cleared by a healthcare professional or public health official. Most people recover in 2-4 weeks, but the disease can be serious, especially for immunocompromised people, children, and pregnant people.
CDC is aware of at least one confirmed and six other presumptive monkeypox cases in the U.S. Over 100 confirmed and suspected cases have been reported from the UK and Europe.
In parts of central and west Africa where monkeypox commonly occurs, people can be exposed through bites or scratches from rodents and small mammals, preparing wild game, or having contact with an infected animal or possibly animal products.
Visit the Public Health – Seattle & King County blog for information on the local case.
Visit the CDC Monkeypox in Multiple Countries webpage for travel information.