Washington and California report suspected Monkeypox cases as US outbreak widens

Presumptive cases now detected in six US states, as health officials say patients are isolating and not at risk of spreading the virus

Bevan Hurley
Tuesday 24 May 2022 20:05
Comments
WHO doctor explains how monkeypox spread among humans

Health officials in California and Washington state say they have detected suspected Monkeypox cases in two patients who recently returned from travelling overseas.

A presumptive Monkeypox infection has also now been reported in Sacramento County, California, the sixth US state to report a case.

“There is minimal risk to the general public,” Sacramento County Public Health Officer Dr Olivia Kasirye told reporters during a Tuesday briefing, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Dr Kasirye did not reveal the patient’s gender or age, or where they had travelled to. The tests would be sent to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) laboratory for further investigation, she said.

On Monday evening, officials in King County, Washington, said a man had registered a positive test to the family of viruses that Monkeypox belongs to.

King County officials said on Monday night they were contacting close contacts of the infected man that they described as being “potential low risk exposures”.

In both cases, the patients did not require hospitalisation and were isolating at home, officials said.

Testing carried out at the Washington State Public Health Laboratory showed the man had tested positive to the family of viruses known as orthopoxviral.

Further testing will be carried out by the CDC.

There has been one confirmed case of Monkeypox in the United States in a Massachusetts man.

Suspected cases have also been reported in Utah, Florida and New York.

Seattle and King County public health official Jeff Duchin said in a statement there was no evidence that Monkeypox was spreading locally, but didn’t rule out the possibility.

“People should understand that the disease can affect anyone and those who are most at risk are those who have had close physical contact with someone with monkeypox. The risk is not limited to men who have sex with men,” Dr Duchin said.

Monkeypox can cause severe rashes and blisters in infected patients

World Health Organisation (WHO) official David Heymann said on Monday the leading theory on how the current outbreak is being spread was sexual contact among gay and bisexual men who attended two recent raves in Spain and Belgium.

“We know monkeypox can spread when there is close contact with the lesions of someone who is infected, and it looks like sexual contact has now amplified that transmission,” Dr Heymann said.

President Joe Biden delivered a more reassuring message to reporters in Tokyo on Monday, a day after he had said “everybody should be concerned” about the disease.

He said the smallpox vaccine was effective against Monkeypox, and the US has sufficient doses on hand to deal with an outbreak.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in