Monkeypox remains absent in Island County

County commissioners received some clarification on the disease during a Board of Health meeting.

Island County residents continue to dodge monkeypox, at least for the time being.

County commissioners received some clarification on the viral disease during an Island County Board of Health meeting last week.

Shawn Morris, the county’s Community and Family Health Manager, led a presentation on the topic and answered questions.

Morris reported that the illness typically lasts two to four weeks. Symptoms can include fever, headache and swollen lymph nodes, followed by a rash appearing anywhere on the body. Close contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox should be avoided.

In addition, the CDC also recommends avoiding multiple or anonymous sex partners, since monkeypox can be spread through direct contact with skin or body fluids of an infected person. Objects used by an infected person, such as clothing, bedding or towels, can also spread it, as can contact with respiratory droplets.

As of Aug. 25, Washington recorded a total of 392 cases of monkeypox, according to the state Department of Health. The vast majority of cases are concentrated in King County.

Morris said active cases of the viral disease need to be isolated and remain at home.

Island County has received 20 doses of the monkeypox vaccine so far, which have been distributed to health care providers. Capacity for testing in the community has also been established.

Commissioner Melanie Bacon asked if smallpox vaccination is effective against monkeypox. In response, Morris said it’s not known how long childhood vaccination against smallpox offers immunity.