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Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department investigating probable monkeypox case in Pierce County

The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department is investigating the first probable case of monkeypox in Pierce County, the agency announced Saturday.

According to a news release, a man in his 30s tested positive for Orthopoxvirus on Saturday. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are working to confirm whether the man has the monkeypox virus.

The man was not hospitalized and is recovering at home where he is isolating and does not pose a risk to others.

The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department is working with the man and his health care providers to identify anyone who may have come into contact with him while he was infectious.

“We expect this is something that’s starting to circulate in the region,” said Nigel Turner, director of the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department’s communicable disease control division. “And that’s why we want to make sure people have the information they need to stay safe and healthy and what they can do to protect themselves.”

Early symptoms of the disease include fatigue, fever and headache. Eventually, a rash develops.

Turner says if you experience an unusual, unexpected lesion or rash, you should contact your health care provider immediately.

The first monkeypox cases in Washington were linked to travel, but Public Health Seattle-King County announced last week that it is likely the virus is spreading locally in King County.