SEATTLE (AP) — A “presumptive” case of monkeypox is being investigated in the Seattle area, local health officials said Monday.
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 travelled internationally in the last month to a country that had reported monkeypox cases.
Duchin said initial testing was completed Monday at a state laboratory. A test to confirm the case will be done by federal officials.
The person was isolating and was not considered a risk to others, Duchin said.
“This individual was not hospitalized and is recovering at home,” he said, adding the person was cooperating with local health authorities.
Health officials do not believe there is a high risk to the public.
Monkeypox is rarely identified outside of Africa. Duchin said four cases have been confirmed in the United 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.