SEATTLE - Health officials on Friday confirmed a case of monkeypox in the Seattle area. It's one of nine cases being investigated in seven states.
Dr. Jeff Duchin, health officer at Public Health – Seattle & King County, said at a news conference Monday afternoon the case was in an adult male who had traveled internationally in the last month to a country that had reported monkeypox cases.
Duchin said initial testing was completed Monday at a state laboratory. The person was isolating at home and was not considered a risk to others, Duchin said.
Authorities are working to identify anyone who may have been exposed, but so far no one who was exposed is considered a possible positive case.
Health officials do not believe there is a high risk to the public.
"Despite the news of multiple cases nationwide, monkeypox is a very rare disease in the United States and the Washington resident who tested positive does not pose a public health risk," said Umair A. Shah, MD, MPH, Secretary of Health.
Monkeypox is rarely identified outside of Africa. On Thursday, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said nine cases have been reported in seven states.
To date, the World Health Organization has recorded more than 90 cases of monkeypox in a dozen countries, including Canada, Spain, Israel, France, Switzerland, the U.S. and Australia.
Although the disease belongs to the same virus family as smallpox, its symptoms are milder. People usually recover within two to four weeks without needing to be hospitalized, but the disease occasionally is deadly.
Health officials say most of the known cases in Europe have been among men who have sex with men, but anyone can be infected through close contact with a sick person, their clothing or bedsheets.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.