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News / Health / Clark County Health

Federal mpox emergency declaration to end in January

Clark County will stay vigilant, public health director Melnick says, but 'right now, the general public is not at high risk'

By Nika Bartoo-Smith, Columbian staff reporter
Published: December 11, 2022, 6:00am

The federal government has announced plans to end the public health emergency declared for mpox by Jan. 31.

The World Health Organization renamed monkeypox to mpox in November, citing concerns that the original name could be construed as racist and discriminatory.

In Clark County, there have been 14 reported cases of mpox and no deaths, according to Washington State Department of Health data. Statewide, there have been 644 reported cases of mpox to date, the majority within King County, the state’s most populous. No mpox-related deaths have been reported in Washington. Across the country, there have been 29,711 cases and 20 reported deaths.

Since Jan. 1, 676 Clark County residents have been vaccinated against the disease, some of whom were contacted due to potential exposure from an infected individual, according to Dr. Alan Melnick, public health director at Clark County Public Health.

Vaccines continue to be available in Clark County. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that anyone who may already have been exposed to mpox or who may be exposed to mpox in the future get vaccinated. Contact your health care provider to learn more.

Although mpox will no longer be declared a public health emergency as of the end of January, people will continue to get care and support, according to public health officials.

“We’re going to continue to monitor this,” Melnick said. “Right now, the general public is not at high risk.”

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Columbian staff reporter