Cougar Health Services offers monkeypox resources

Whitman County has no monkeypox cases while King County has 275



Monkeypox spreads through prolonged direct contact or large droplets, meaning it is not as transmissible as COVID-19.

FRANKIE BEER, Evergreen news editor

Cougar Health Services now offers monkeypox virus testing, providing results within two to three business days after the test. 

The on-campus clinic will help students reduce rashes and the spread of the virus while working with Whitman County Public Health to advocate for vaccines, according to the CHS website.

Monkeypox, which causes lesions on the skin, is from the same Orthopoxvirus family as smallpox and is less transmissible than COVID-19. Symptoms of the virus include flu-like signs before acquiring the lesions, fever, chills and swollen lymph nodes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website

The virus typically spreads through close or intimate skin-to-skin contact and lasts about two to four weeks, according to the CDC website. 

On Aug. 2, the Washington State Department of Health confirmed one case of the virus but retracted the report about four hours later. The physician who ordered the test for monkeypox said they received additional test results, which indicated it was negative, according to a WA DOH press release. Since then, the WA DOH has not released any further information implying additional testing was positive for the virus.

Whitman County has no cases of monkeypox, but Washington state has 333 cases as of Thursday according to the WA DOH website. King County has 275 cases – 13 times that of Pierce County, which possesses the second-highest monkeypox rate.

WSU virologist Heather Koehler said the virus’ spread could be a result of ineffective containment methods or people not seeking treatment in time rather than genetic mutations of monkeypox, according to a WSU Insider article

The two-dose JYNNEOS vaccine is the preferred vaccine for monkeypox, according to the CDC website. The CDC recommends people get the vaccine if they were exposed to monkeypox.

Although Bavarian Nordic, a Danish company that supplies the vaccine, is not sure it can meet the demand for JYNNEOS, it signed a deal Thursday to help complete the vaccine orders in the U.S. in about three months, according to a CNBC article