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News / Health / Health Wire

Monkeypox cases have increased again in Washington, here’s how you can stay safe

By Alyse Messmer-Smith, The Bellingham Herald
Published: September 9, 2022, 7:32am

The number of monkeypox cases in Washington state has continued to increase, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Washington currently has 484 monkeypox cases as of Sept. 7 CDC data, an increase of over 100 cases from Aug. 22’s count of 328.

The Washington State Department of Health case numbers currently record the state as having 488 cases and 14 hospitalizations.

Washington’s monkeypox cases had a steep increase between Aug. 31 and Sept. 1, jumping from 332 cases to 467.

The CDC updated the monkeypox case numbers nationwide, finding that the United States has a total of 21,274 cases total as of Sept. 7.

New York, California, Florida, Texas, Georgia and Illinois had the highest case numbers in the U.S. New York has the highest case count at 2,910 cases as of Sept. 7. Illinois has 951 cases.

Monkeypox typically only lasts two to four weeks and case fatality rate is between 3-6%, according to the World Health Organization.

Symptoms of monkeypox

According to the CDC, signs and symptoms of monkeypox include fever, chills, exhaustion, rashes, scabs, swollen lymph nodes, muscle aches, headaches, sore throat, cough and congestion.

How does monkeypox spread?

A person with monkeypox can give it to others from the time their symptoms start until their rash and skin are fully healed.

“At this time, data suggest that gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men make up the majority of cases in the current monkeypox outbreak. However, anyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, who has been in close, personal contact with someone who has monkeypox is at risk,” the CDC’s website states.

Monkeypox can be spread to anyone through intimate contact and skin-to-skin contact, according to the CDC, as well as from infected animals, from a pregnant woman to her unborn baby, or by touching objects or surfaces that have been touched by someone who has monkeypox.

Monkeypox prevention

Limiting contact with infected persons is the most effective way to reduce the spread of monkeypox, according to the World Health Organization.

To prevent monkeypox, the CDC recommends the use of EPA-registered disinfectants to clean objects and surfaces, a vaccination against monkeypox and self-isolation if you have monkeypox. If your pet has symptoms of monkeypox, take them to a veterinary.