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Health - Public Health News

Posted on: September 13, 2022

Health Department Urges Preventative Measures as Whatcom Sees Second Monkeypox Case


A person in their 20s has become the second Whatcom County resident with confirmed Monkeypox Virus (MPV). This person was not hospitalized and is isolating at home. We are working to identify anyone who may be a close contact of this person. 


It is important that everyone follow basic precautions to reduce the risk of catching and spreading MPV. Anyone can get this virus through close contact, and it usually spreads through skin-to-skin contact. It can take up to three weeks from the date of exposure before someone develops symptoms, but in most cases symptoms develop within 7-14 days.


MPV Prevention Tips:

  • Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash, sores, or blisters. 

  • Avoid sexual activity with multiple partners, or with partners who have sex with multiple people. Currently, most cases are transmitted by skin-to-skin contact during sex. Condoms may help reduce your exposure to MPV, however, condoms alone are likely not enough to prevent MPV.

  • Wear a high-quality mask like an N95 if you will be physically close to someone with MPV.

  • Do not touch the body fluids, bedsheets, or clothing of someone with MPV without protective equipment. 


Whatcom County has enough MPV vaccine to meet current demand, as well as treatment drugs (TPOXX) that have been pre-positioned to treat anyone with MPV who is at high risk of severe disease. Close contacts of Whatcom County’s second case are being offered the vaccine, as well as others that meet the criteria for vaccination. Testing for MPV is now widely available through most commercial medical laboratories and can be ordered by any doctor. 


“Anyone with unexplained rash or sores should seek medical evaluation, especially if they have had high risk or anonymous sexual encounters, ” said Dr. Greg Thompson, Co-Health Officer. 


If additional cases are identified, we will update our MPV webpage at www.whatcomcounty.us/mpv. We will not send a message every time a new case is identified. We will send out additional messages about MPV if needed.


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