Monkeypox Outbreak Circulating in Washington

Image by US Mission Geneva is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.

On May 20, 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released an official alert regarding the spread of monkeypox cases globally. Then, in mid-May, the health departments for the state of Washington reported their first case. The number of monkeypox cases has since risen on a state, national and global level.

According to scientists, the rise of monkeypox cases throughout the country aligns with the decrease in citizens vaccinated against Smallpox. Smallpox vaccines also provide protection from the monkeypox virus. Fortunately, scientific knowledge to combat the virus is expansive and growing.      

To prevent the spread of monkeypox, medical officials recommend practicing sanitation hygiene by doing things such as washing your hands frequently and avoiding cross-contamination.  

Vaccine distribution challenges have played a significant role in the nation’s limited supply of vaccines for monkeypox. Government officials are combating these challenges by authorizing various vaccine production facilities globally.  

The Jynneos vaccine which is used for monkeypox has limited availability in the state. It is available only to those who have been exposed to the virus and are at high or intermediate risk. The vaccine is also available to medical and laboratory workers who interact with monkeypox specimens.  To stay updated on the 2022 U.S. Monkeypox Outbreak, you can visit the CDC’s official website. For updates and information on monkeypox cases in the state of Washington, you can visit the Washington State Department of Health’s official website.

July 23 Update: The World Health Organization has designated Monkeypox as a global health emergency, the seventh of such declarations and first since COVID-19 in 2020.

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