(The Center Square) – The Washington State Department of Health has launched a new “dashboard” on its website to help inform state residents about monkeypox infections. This tool reveals that King County has the lion’s share of monkeypox infections.
Of the 564 total recorded cases of infection in Washington, 450 infected persons were located in King County. The next closest counties were Pierce County, with 47 infected persons, Snohomish County, with 27 cases, and Clark County, with 10 cases.
All other counties that registered cases were in the single digits: Island County had 1 case, Whatcom County had 2 cases, Spokane 7, and Thurston 1. Of all Washington counties, 20 recorded zero cases.
Monkeypox is a virus that infects many species of animals, including rodents and primates, including monkeys, which is where it got its name. It also infects humans causing symptoms “similar to those of smallpox, though less severe,” according to Britannica.
The virus has mobilized public health experts because of mortality associated with past outbreaks.
“The virus is usually found in primates and rodents in Central and West Africa, where monkeypox has proved to be most dangerous in children, who have had a mortality rate as high as 10 percent in some outbreaks,” reports the online encyclopedia.
The first case of monkeypox was confirmed in Washington in late May.
“The person, a King County resident, did not require hospitalization and is isolating at home,” the Department of Health said at the time in a newsrelease.
Though monkeypox case counts in the state and especially in King County are up since then, the dashboard shows there have only been 15 hospitalizations thus far and no deaths.