King castle

Monkeypox Comes to King County: Today So Far

  • Monkeypox appeared in King County. Here’s what you need to know.
  • Boeing finally arrives at the International Space Station.
  • Washington has a history of sending troubled youth to out-of-state boarding schools.

This post originally appeared in KUOW’s Today So Far newsletter on May 24, 2022.

OKAY. Here we are. Monkeypox.

Outbreaks of monkeypox have emerged in a few countries over the past month, causing some concern. In fact, he already has his own Wikipedia page. And now it’s showing here in King’s County.

“At this time, we have no evidence that monkeypox is spreading locally, but if there are unrecognized cases, it could be a possibility,” said Dr. Jeff Duchin, chief health officer of the King County, at a special press conference on Monday.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • King County health officials are calling it a “presumptive” case. This is a man who traveled to another country where there is an epidemic. They’ve had contact with less than a dozen people since, which isn’t very many (a 2001 case of monkeypox in the US involved over 200 potential contacts).
  • There are two main strains of monkeypox, and this one seems to be the least deadly. The smallpox vaccine offers some protection. There is already a monkeypox vaccine that authorities are currently considering for people at high risk.
  • What is unusual about current outbreaks is that they are happening in different countries, all at the same time. There have been a handful of cases in the United States in recent years, usually involving people who have traveled outside the country or imported animals. The last major outbreak was in 2003, when 47 people in six states were infected by imported pets. All US patients have made full recoveries in the past.
  • Unlike Covid (of which we currently have another surge), monkeypox is completely controllable. It spreads when a person shows symptoms – smallpox on the skin. So basically don’t go near that person or touch their sheets, clothes, etc. Early symptoms include fever, headache, and swollen lymph nodes. Symptoms can last up to four weeks.

The King County man is currently in isolation and anyone he could potentially expose has been contacted. And like the rest of us, the CDC’s monkeypox recommendations aren’t too different from what we’ve been practicing for two years — wash your hands and use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

In my opinion, the biggest threat posed by monkeypox right now is the inevitable conspiracy theories, or whatever the “truthful” can concoct online. So be vigilant for that.

What else do we report…

Boeing has finally entered the space race. The aerospace company is suing SpaceX and Blue Origin, which have a head start in space economics. With the successful docking of Boeing’s Starliner to the International Space Station this week, the company should soon begin making more regular trips. This week’s trip had only one model on board, named Rosie Rocketeer. But astronauts could use a Starliner for trips by the end of the year.

This is good news for Boeing, which has fallen behind in this space race. He had to solve software problems. And its previous test flight put it in the wrong orbit. Read more here.

Washington has a history of sending troubled youth to out-of-state boarding schools. There is a lot of information in this story, so I suggest you go read the report by Austin Jenkin here. But the short version is that our state has its share of students who need extra care, whether due to autism-related needs or other conditions. The pandemic has hampered much of the assistance these children were accustomed to. So when the going gets tough in our special education system, it’s not uncommon for the state to send kids to boarding schools in Montana or Texas. This is what Marie is currently facing, after her son Brennan was fired from the state. Read the full story here.

AS SEEN ON KUOW

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An American pika perched on a scree slope, showing its distinctive round ears and stone-coloured fur. He is sometimes compared to Pokemon’s Pikachu, is a furry member of the rabbit family that is about the size of a baked potato. They depend on cold temperatures, snowpack and fresh flower meadows. And they are extremely vulnerable to climate change. This is where the public comes in. (Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife)

DID YOU KNOW?

Jimi Hendrix’s first gig as a musician was at a Jewish temple in Seattle that still stands today… sort of. Hendrix was known to frequent a club outside of Seattle called the Spanish Castle (of which he wrote a song). He picked up a thing or two there, musically, and was inspired to perform. This inspiration led to his first gig with an unnamed band in the Jaffe Room of Temple De Hirsch located at Union Street and 15th Avenue in the late 1950s. Apparently he was fired between sets for showing up. too much. Obviously, he didn’t give up there.

The physical temple building where Jimi performed was demolished in 1993, but the congregation is still located on the block with an updated building. The Temple De Hirsch congregation dates back to 1899. The modern Temple De Hirsch Sinai is the largest Reform congregation in the Northwest.

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As food prices continue to soar, UN warns of crippling global shortages

Fears of a global food crisis are growing due to the shock of war in Ukraine, climate change and rising inflation. Last week, UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned of “the specter of global food shortages in the months ahead” without urgent international action.

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