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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, September 9, 2022
Renae Miller, Interim Public Information Specialist – Thurston County PHSS, (360) 999-9860 or renae.miller@co.thurston.wa.us

Presumptive Case of Monkeypox Detected in Thurston County
Non-variola orthopox virus detected in one Thurston County resident

OLYMPIA – On Friday, September 09, 2022 Thurston County Public Health and Social Services (PHSS) was notified of a presumptive positive case of monkeypox in Thurston County. A private laboratory in Washington State reported a specimen from a Thurston County resident with no travel history tested positive for non-variola orthopox virus. Since there are no other orthopox viruses currently circulating, a positive test result is presumed to be positive for monkeypox. 

Washington’s first case was confirmed on May 27. To date, 488 monkeypox cases have been identified in Washington State. Monkeypox is a viral illness which causes a rash in most people who become infected and can be preceded by flu-like symptoms. It is spread through contact with lesions, intimate skin to skin contact, respiratory droplets, objects contaminated with infectious material and can cross the placenta in pregnant people. Symptoms typically start within three weeks of exposure and patients who have flu-like symptoms will often develop the namesake rash within four days. Individuals are infectious until the rash has completely healed, 2-4 weeks in most cases.

Contact your healthcare provider immediately to be evaluated if you develop a new, unexplained rash. Avoid close skin to skin contact including sex until you have been evaluated by your healthcare provider. If testing for monkeypox is performed, you will need to isolate at home away from other people and pets in your household until you get your test results. 

At this time the risk to general public of monkeypox infection is low and health officials do not currently recommend vaccination for members of the general public who are not at high risk of recent exposure to monkeypox. The eligibility criteria may evolve with changes in the outbreak and vaccine supply. The current monkeypox (JYNNEOS) vaccination criteria are as follows: 

Persons meeting any of the criteria below: 
  • People who have had sexual, close intimate contact or other high-risk close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with monkeypox.
  • Gay and bisexual men and transgender individuals who have had multiple or anonymous gay, male bisexual, or transgender sex partners in the last three months. 
  • People who have used methamphetamine in the last three months. 
  • People who have exchanged sex for money, drugs, or other purposes in the past three months. 
  • People who have been sexually assaulted, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.
  • People who have had sexual contact or prolonged skin-to-skin exposure with people who were exposed to monkeypox. 
Eligible Thurston County residents can call 360-867-2610 to schedule an monkeypox vaccine appointment.


County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3