SEATTLE – Health officials in Washington state say a case of the monkeypox virus has been confirmed in the Seattle area.
On Friday the state Department of Health and Public Health – Seattle & King County confirmed the infection in a King County man who recently traveled to a country where other monkeypox cases had been identified. Officials had announced the case as presumptive earlier in the week.
The man wasn’t hospitalized and is recovering at home.
The Seattle Times reports that no additional presumptive monkeypox cases had been found in King County, though health officials continue to look for others who might have been exposed to the virus.
“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,” state Secretary of Health Dr. Umair Shah said in a statement.
The World Health Organization says nearly 200 cases of monkeypox have been reported in more than 20 countries not usually known to have outbreaks of the unusual disease, but described the epidemic as “containable” and proposed creating a stockpile to equitably share the limited vaccines and drugs available worldwide.
Ten monkeypox infections have been confirmed in the United States, according to a Thursday evening update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
No deaths have been identified.
Doctors in Britain, Spain, Portugal, Canada, the U.S. and elsewhere have noted that the majority of infections to date have been in gay and bisexual men, or men who have sex with men. The disease is no more likely to affect people because of their sexual orientation and scientists warn the virus could infect others if transmission isn’t curbed.
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