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DOH opens call center to answer questions about monkeypox virus

Washingtonians can now call 1-833-829-HELP for any questions relating to the monkeypox virus.

Two weeks ago, the Washington Department of Health (DOH) activated their Incident Management Team to dedicate time and efforts to the growing cases of the monkeypox virus (MPV). More recently, the DOH expanded its efforts to provide MPV information to Washingtonians through the 1-833-829-HELP call center.

Through an ongoing partnership with Washington 211, callers can receive up to date information about risk factors of MPV, vaccines, testing and treatment options. The call center will be available on Monday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Tuesday through Sunday–and observed holidays–from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“As we navigate the MPV outbreak in Washington state, we cannot underestimate the need for our community members to address their questions and concerns,” said Umair A. Shah, MD, MPH, Secretary of Health. “We are pleased to partner with 211 to meet this critical need.”

According to the DOH, as of August 10, there are a total of 236 confirmed MPV cases within the state. Knowing risk factors and precautionary measures regarding MPV is the best way to protect oneself, said the DOH, who emphasized that anyone who has close contact with a person with an infectious rash can get the virus.

MPV can spread through touching objects, fabrics and surfaces that have been used by someone with MPV, and through respiratory droplets during prolonged face-to-face contact. The DOH recommends that if one has an unexplained rash, they should cover it, avoid skin to skin contact with others, and see a health care provider.

If exposed to someone with MPV, the DOH recommends contacting a health care provider or local health jurisdiction to discuss vaccination eligibility.

Click here for more information on MPV/

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