Jay Inslee

OLYMPIA, Wash.-

Governor Jay Inslee issued Directive Directive 22-18 today to expand on efforts to prevent and control the spread of the monkeypox virus.

"Public health is at stake and we must continue to protect Washingtonians and do what we can to help control the spread of monkeypox," said Governor Inslee.

Although rarely fatal, monkeypox can be extremely painful and scarring. There are existing vaccines to help prevent infection and reduce the severity of the illness.

Monkeypox cases doubling every week in Seattle and King County

Monkeypox is an evolving public health concern and today's directive orders the Washington State Department of Health to take a broad range of actions, including:

Public outreach and education within appropriate communities.

Prioritizing equitable distribution of existing treatments.

Maximizing the monkeypox vaccine.

Monitoring case counts and demographic data.

Maintaining adequate testing capacity and addressing identified reporting gaps.

There are currently 10,768 cases of monkeypox in the United States, 254 of those are in Washington State.