Health officials have confirmed the first case of monkeypox in Washington state.
The patient, a resident of King County, which encompasses the Seattle area, did not need to be hospitalized and was isolating at home, according to the Washington State Department of Health (DOH).
The DOH said local public health workers were doing contact tracing, but hadn’t identified any close contacts who could be a positive case.
In specific situations, when someone has close or intimate exposure to a person with monkeypox, they may be advised to get vaccinated, but vaccines are not recommended as a preventive measure, the DOH said.
As of Thursday, Canada has confirmed 26 cases of monkeypox: one in Toronto and the remainder in Quebec, which is also investigating dozens of additional suspected cases.
Numerous other cases have appeared in the United States and Europe. No cases have been confirmed in British Columbia.
Stigma over monkeypox poses challenges in tracking Canadian cases
The Public Health Agency of Canada has shipped 1,000 doses of smallpox vaccine to Quebec, but said it does not anticipate the need for a mass vaccination campaign.
Monkeypox is a rare disease in the family of viruses that includes the smallpox virus. It generally does not spread easily between humans but can be transmitted through prolonged close contact.
Many of the cases that have cropped up in recent weeks appear to have been spread through sexual contact between men, but health officials say it can be spread to anyone.
Symptoms of monkeypox include skin lesions on the mouth and genitals, but can also include fever, headaches and joint an muscle pain.
According to the World Health Organization, symptoms typically last two to four weeks, though fatalities are possible in severe cases.
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