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Monkeypox outbreak spreading, second infant infected


SEATTLE (AP) — An infant in Washington’s most populous county has become infected with the monkeypox virus as the outbreak grows throughout the state.

Public health leaders held a media briefing Thursday to call attention to the seriousness of the disease, The Seattle Times reported.

State Secretary of Health Dr. Umair A. Shah said while the threat of infection to the general public remains low, recent pediatric cases serve as a reminder that anyone can become sick.

This week, Public Health – Seattle & King County said it had confirmed a second case of monkeypox in an infant. Officials said the infant in the latest case likely contracted it from an infected family member. The baby is hospitalized, stable and receiving treatment, county officials said.

The state Department of Health said a 17-year-old also tested positive for monkeypox earlier this month.

Shah said to remember monkeypox is a contact-based virus and while it is disproportionately affecting the LGBTQ+ community, anyone anywhere can be at risk.

“This continues to be an outbreak we’re monitoring very closely,” Shah said.

As of Thursday, the state has confirmed 392 monkeypox cases, including 318 in King County. No one has died from the virus in Washington. Several people have been hospitalized for treatment, officials said.

Vaccines remain in short supply locally and nationwide.

King County Executive Dow Constantine last week officially declared the local monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency, freeing up resources.

The virus can cause a rash, fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes and fatigue.

To date, more than 45,000 monkeypox cases have been reported in 98 countries since late April.

Article Topic Follows: AP Idaho

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