Monkeypox has officially made its way to Island County.
According to the state Department of Health, as of Sept. 22, one case has been recorded in the county.
County Health Services Director Keith Higman said the affected individual didn’t come into contact with many other people and has since been isolated. Higman declined to provide any identifying characteristics about the person, such as location within the county, gender or age. He cited privacy concerns within a small community.
Higman said if there were multiple cases of monkeypox within the county, Public Health would identify commonalities linking them together, such as workplaces or social circles.
Island County Public Health has been aware of the case since Sept. 14, which indicates at least a one-week lag in the state data reported.
Howard Leibrand, the county’s health officer, said the case was likely diagnosed one to two weeks ago.
“This is really to be expected and doesn’t necessarily indicate there’s a lot of transmission going on,” he said. “Unlike coronavirus, with monkeypox, it becomes quite obvious that they have it. So there’s not a lot of undiagnosed cases.”
The most noticeable symptom of monkeypox is a rash, which can appear anywhere on the body. Transmission occurs through direct contact with the skin or body fluids of an infected person.
Leibrand said monkeypox vaccines are typically administered to individuals who are at high risk or those who have been exposed to the virus. Nobody in Island County has been vaccinated, according to the state.
The state has recorded a total number of 556 cases, with the vast majority being reported in King County.
According to the state Department of Health, case rates do seem to be dropping. There have been zero deaths from monkeypox in the state.
The state Department of Health recently released a new monkeypox data dashboard, which shows demographic and vaccine information for the ongoing outbreak. Visit doh.wa.gov/you-and-your-family/illness-and-disease-z/monkeypox/monkeypox-mpv-data for more information.