Dallas County Health and Human Services is investigating a case of monkeypox in the county, the department confirmed Tuesday.
The resident who tested positive traveled in the past month to Mexico, which has also reported cases. Preliminary test results showed a positive test result on June 6. Due to privacy concerns, the patient’s identification has not been released.
Public Health officials have identified individuals who have had direct contact with the patient and are being monitored for symptoms of infection. The CDC is also working with airline, state and local health officials to contact airline passengers and others who may have been in contact with the patient on board a flight from Mexico to Dallas.
The patient has not been hospitalized and is currently isolated and recovering at home and does not pose a risk to others at this time.
“We have been working closely with the CDC and the Texas Department of State Health Services and have conducted interviews with the patient and close contacts,” Dr. Philip Huan, DCHHS Director, said. “ We have determined that there is little known risk to the general public at this time. However, monkeypox cases have been spreading globally, and we are actively working with local healthcare providers to ensure they are prepared to recognize monkeypox and report suspected cases to public health officials.”
Monkeypox cases have seen a recent increase in cases over the last month with an outbreak of the virus in North America and Europe has been primarily spread through sex among men.
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Monkeypox doesn’t spread as easily as COVID-19 and is easier to identify close contacts.
Though the Dallas County case is the first in the state this year, the DFW Hospital Council said its emergency rooms are closely monitoring the spread.
“They know the symptoms of monkeypox. They're going to be on the lookout for it, especially if someone's done international travel. So while I would say we're going to be cautious with it, the general public I do not think needs to be alarmed," said President and CEO Stephen Love.
According to doctors, the smallpox vaccine can help prevent people from catching the virus, which Dallas County Heaalth and Human Services has available for those at high risk.
Last July, Dallas County had a reported case of monkeypox involving a person who'd traveled from Nigeria.
At that time, the Health Department monitored about 200 close contacts for possible transmission, but Huang said none developed symptoms.