The Texas Department of State Health Services and local departments have identified multiple new cases of monkeypox in Texans who have not left the state.
According to Texas DSHS, testing has found a total of 12 monkeypox cases in the Lone Star State.
While the first cases involved international travel, three patients have reported not traveling in the three weeks before becoming sick, meaning they were exposed in Texas.
"With the sharp increase in monkeypox cases worldwide, it's not surprising to see the virus spread in Texas," said Dr. Jennifer Shuford, chief state epidemiologist. "We want people to know what the symptoms are, and if they have symptoms, to avoid the types of close contact with other people that can spread the disease."
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Monkeypox is a viral illness that begins with symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion. It soon progresses to rashes that can look like pimples or blisters. It often appears first on the face and inside the mouth before spreading elsewhere on the body.
Notifying the health department about suspected cases will aid in testing and allow public health officials to determine whether anyone who had contact with the patient should receive the monkeypox vaccine.
If given within four days of exposure, the vaccine can prevent sickness.
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Monkeypox can spread from person to person through direct contact with the rash, scabs or bodily fluid. It can be transmitted through prolonged face-to-face contact via respiratory droplets or through other direct contacts such as kissing.
For more information on monkeypox, visit the DSHS website.