News Flash

Health & Human Services

Posted on: July 26, 2022

First monkeypox case confirmed in Cowlitz County

LONGVIEW, Washington — The first monkeypox case in a Cowlitz County resident has been confirmed.

The resident, an adult male, is not hospitalized and is isolating at home. Cowlitz County Health and Human Services is working with the person to identify and reach out to anyone he may have come into close contact with while contagious.

As of July 25, a total of 92 confirmed and probable monkeypox cases have been detected in Washington state.

“Despite the news of this case, we don’t expect widespread community transmission at this time,” said Dr. Steven Krager, deputy health officer for Cowlitz County. “While the risk remains low, it’s important that everyone be aware of the symptoms and know when to seek medical care.”

Monkeypox can spread through any kind of close, skin-to-skin contact with an infected person who has symptoms. Brief interactions that do not involve physical contact are not high risk. The virus can spread through:

• Direct contact with monkeypox rash, sores or scabs from a person with monkeypox, including intimate sexual contact.
• Contact with objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding or towels) and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox.
• Respiratory droplets or oral fluids (saliva) during direct and prolonged face-to-face contact with an infected person.

Anyone can get monkeypox, but some people have a higher risk of exposure. Many of the current cases are occurring in men who have sex with men.

Monkeypox can cause a rash that looks like fluid-filled bumps, blisters or ulcers. Before getting a rash, some people experience flu-like symptoms. The virus can spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed.

Most people with monkeypox recover in 2-4 weeks and do not require hospitalization. At highest risk of severe illness are immunocompromised people, children, people with a history of eczema and people who are pregnant.

People who have symptoms, or who may have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with monkeypox, should contact their healthcare provider to get tested. Antiviral drugs and vaccines may be used to treat and prevent monkeypox.

To learn more about monkeypox, including the status of the outbreak in Washington state, visit the Washington State Department of Health’s website: https://bit.ly/3OsGRTG. More information can be found here: https://bit.ly/3PSxYDR.

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Contact
Stefanie Donahue
Communications Manager
(360) 414-5599, ext. 6451
donahues@co.cowlitz.wa.us
Release #: 22-006