Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. Monkeypox infections are typically not severe but can be serious, especially for children and people who are immune compromised or pregnant. On July 28, 2022, the Yakima Health District identified the first case of monkeypox in Yakima County.

Vaccine availability

Currently, vaccine supply is limited and prioritized to high-risk close contacts of confirmed and probable monkeypox cases. More information will be shared as we learn more about vaccine availability.

How does monkeypox spread?

Monkeypox spreads by very close and/or prolonged contact with someone with symptoms, such as:

  • Direct contact (sexual or non-sexual) with the skin or body fluids
  • Contact with contaminated objects (towels, bedding, and utensils)
  • Respiratory droplets during direct and prolonged face-to-face contact

What are the symptoms?

The early symptoms of monkeypox are flu-like, and can include fever, fatigue, headache, and enlarged lymph nodes. Monkeypox can also cause a rash that can look like pimples or blisters anywhere on the body, more often on the face, mouth, hands, genitals, or anus.

monkeypox symptoms pic

What should you do if you have symptoms?

You can spread monkeypox from the start of symptoms until the rash has fully healed, which can take 2-4 weeks. To keep from spreading the infection:

  • Talk to your healthcare provider and find out if you should be tested
  •  If you don't have a healthcare provider, call 2-1-1
  • Separate yourself from other people and from animals
  • Wear a well-fitted medical mask when in close contact with others
  • Avoid sex or intimate contact
  • Remain separated until the rash is gone, all scabs have fallen off, and the skin below is healed

What should you do if you are a close contact?

If you have had close contact with a person who has confirmed or probable monkeypox, contact your healthcare provider. If you don't have a healthcare provider, call 2-1-1.. For people who have had recent contact with someone with monkeypox, the vaccine can reduce the chance of developing infection. Close contact can include being together for several hours, hugging, cuddling, kissing, or sharing a bed.