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King County declares monkeypox a public health emergency

As of August 18, there are 272 confirmed cases of monkeypox in King County and over 14,000 confirmed cases of monkeypox in the United States.

KING COUNTY, Wash. — Editor's note: The above video originally aired on Aug 18, 2022.

King County declared monkeypox a local public health emergency on Friday.

As of August 18, there are 272 confirmed cases of monkeypox in King County, 333 cases in Washington and over 14,000 confirmed cases of monkeypox in the United States.

This declaration follows the U.S. monkeypox emergency declaration on Aug. 4. The King County proclamation is effective immediately and will allow the public health department more flexibility with procurement hiring and contracting, county officials said in a release.

King County Executive Dow Constantine said a quick response to the monkeybox outbreak will keep the community safer.

"We are fortunate to have one of the best public health organizations in the nation right here in King County, and today’s action ensures they will have all the tools needed to take on the challenge of monkeypox," Constantine said.

King County has added a monkeypox tracking page that will be updated regularly. It can be found here.

Monkeypox spreads through direct contact with the skin or body fluids of an infected person, contact with virus-contaminated objects like bedding or clothing or by respiratory droplets during direct and prolonged face-to-face contact, according to the DOH.

Symptoms include a rash that can appear anywhere on the body, fever, headache and swollen lymph nodes. 

The rash will typically turn into raised bumps which then fill with fluid. The rash eventually scabs over and the scabs fall off, according to the DOH. 

Most people recover in two-four weeks although the lesions can leave scars. The disease can be serious, especially for immunocompromised people, children, and pregnant people.

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