Dallas County reports monkeypox virus infection

Child affected with monkeypox. – Photo courtesy of to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

 

Special to The Dallas Examiner

 

The first case of Monkeypox in a resident of Dallas County was reported Thursday by the Dallas County Health and Human Services. The person is hospitalized in Dallas and is in stable condition. The individual is isolated at the hospital to prevent the spread of the virus.

Monkeypox is a rare but potentially serious viral illness that typically begins with flu-like illness and swelling of the lymph nodes and progresses to a widespread rash on the face and body. Most infections last 2-4 weeks. Monkeypox is in the same family of viruses as smallpox but causes a milder infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The individual is a city of Dallas resident who traveled from Nigeria to Dallas. He arrived at Love Field airport July 9.

The CDC is working with the airline and state and local health officials to contact airline passengers and others who may have been in contact with the patient during the flights.

“We have been working closely with the CDC and DSHS and have conducted interviews with the patient and close contacts that were exposed,” said DCHHS Director Dr. Philip Huang.  “We have determined that there is very little risk to the general public. This is another demonstration of the importance of maintaining a strong public health infrastructure, as we are only a plane ride away from any global infectious disease.”

Travelers on these flights were required to wear masks on the flights as well as in the U.S. airports due to the ongoing COVID pandemic. Therefore, it’s believed the risk of spread of monkeypox via respiratory droplets to others on the planes and in the airports is low. CDC is assessing potential risks to those who may have had contact with the traveler on the plane or in the airports.

“While rare, this case is not a reason for alarm and we do not expect any threat to the general public. Dallas County Health and Human Services is working closely with local providers, as well as our state and federal partners,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said.

Working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Texas Department of State Health Services, DCHHS has identified and is in contact with individuals who were in direct contact with the patient. People who do not have symptoms are not capable of spreading the virus to others. Dallas County will not release further information about the patient to protect their privacy. Additionally, information about the location of the patient will not be released.

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