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UW Medicine doctor gives update on monkeypox outbreak to Seattle City Council

KING COUNTY, Wash. — A doctor told the Seattle City Council about unusual trends in the monkeypox outbreak in King County.

The Latino population, which is only 10% of the county’s populace, represents almost a third of the monkeypox cases.

Doctor Matthew Golden, a public health researcher with the University of Washington Medicine, told the council that the trend reflects national numbers, which are that 31% of cases nationwide are among the Latinx population.

KIRO 7 learned that it could be because of the undocumented and language barriers, among other things.

Golden said the infection has predominantly affected men who have sex with men; however, he said one woman in Snohomish County has also been infected.

While 350 doses of the monkeypox vaccine are being administered daily, Golden said he and other staff were unprepared for the demand.

“We had a large supply of vaccine. My understanding is that a substantial amount of it expired and we didn’t replenish our stuff. And also did not immediately mobilize the vaccine we had available to us, so of which was in Denmark, and we did not work as quickly as we might have to get access to the vaccine that was potentially available to us,” Golden told the council.

Golden did acknowledge that some people are going out of state to get the monkeypox vaccine.

According to the doctor, several states had not initially requested enough vaccines to keep up with the demand and Washington was among those states.

Golden said more positive cases will now lead to getting more vaccines in our state.