Local transmission of monkeypox virus likely in King County

SEATTLE — Recent cases of monkeypox have been identified in King County residents who didn’t report traveling during the time they would have been exposed, suggesting that the virus was transmitted locally, according to Public Health – Seattle & King County.

Monkeypox is spread through close physical contact.

As of Wednesday, July 6, Public Health officials have identified nine cases in King County.

Public Health has reached out to those with monkeypox to give advice and evaluate possible exposure to others.

Because there are other contagious illnesses that can cause a rash or skin lesions, Public Health said it is important for anyone with a new rash to be seen by a health care provider who can assess if the rash is monkeypox or another infection.

Anyone who has symptoms of monkeypox or has been in close contact with someone with monkeypox should contact a health care provider as soon as possible.

“Finding monkeypox in residents who were likely exposed locally highlights the importance for people who are at higher risk for monkeypox and for health care providers to be able to recognize the symptoms promptly, and to take steps to limit the risk for infection and the spread to others,” said Dr. Jeff Duchin, health officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County.

As of July 6, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported almost 7,000 cases of monkeypox globally and 560 cases in the U.S. For the latest case counts, visit CDC’s outbreak summary and King County’s monkeypox page.

“We expect to see additional cases locally as the outbreak grows in the U.S. and globally. We are working to limit the impact on our community, collaborating with a strong network of community-based organizations to share information so that people can quickly recognize if they develop a rash or other flu-like symptoms, limit close contact if symptoms develop, and get checked out right away,” said Duchin.

For information about the monkeypox vaccine, how monkeypox is spread or how to protect yourself, visit King County’s monkeypox page.