First Potential Monkeypox Outbreak Recorded in DC Ahead of Pride Festivities

June 8, 2022 by Alexa Hornbeck
First Potential Monkeypox Outbreak Recorded in DC Ahead of Pride Festivities
(Photo via Gap Inc. Media Relations)

The DC Public Health Lab confirmed on June 5 the first positive orthopoxvirus and potential monkeypox case in Washington, D.C. 

The patient is currently in isolation, with close contacts being monitored. So far no other known cases have been identified.

As of Monday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed a total of 31 Americans who contracted monkeypox or are suspected to have it, with the most cases in New York and California. 

Monkeypox is a rare zoonotic disease found in Central and West Africa, and is transmitted mainly through direct or indirect contact with blood, body fluids, skin or mucosal lesions of infected animals. It can also spread through sexual activity.



The disease causes symptoms such as severe rash, fever, swollen lymph nodes, headaches and muscle aches.

June kicks off Pride Month, and the notice of a potential outbreak comes as Washington, D.C., will host its annual Pride Festival on Sunday, June 12, which is estimated to bring together half a million people on Pennsylvania Avenue. 

Some monkeypox cases have been identified through sexual health clinics in communities of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men, according to guidance released on May 25 from the World Health Organization. 


At the end of May, an adviser from the WHO responded to concerns about upcoming Pride Parade attendance, after the organization theorized that the circulation of monkeypox started at two raves in Europe.

Alexa can be reached at [email protected]

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