Mexican Health Officials: Dallas Man With Monkeypox Symptoms Flew Home Instead of Isolating

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The CDC is working with Mexican health officials after doctors there announced this week that a Dallas man infected with monkeypox first developed symptoms while vacationing in Puerto Vallarta.

In a release issued yesterday, Mexican health officials said the man visited the hospital in Vallarta after a doctor back in Texas urged him to seek medical attention for a cough, chills, aches and lesions on several parts of his body.

Doctors there told him to isolate himself. Instead, they say he fled, packed his bags and got on a flight back to the United States.

Mexican Health Officials and Doctors here at home have not released the name of the patient.

Still, Dallas County officials have confirmed a patient who traveled to Mexico was the first person to test positive for monkeypox in Texas.

"We're working with the individual, and that person is cooperating with our department, with the state and federal authorities and is in isolation. So, again, we have compliance from that individual to do what's necessary to prevent further spread of the infection,” said Dallas County Health Director Phillip Huang.

While Dallas County works with both state and federal health officials to find people who were on the patient's flight, experts said he likely won't face legal charges.

UNT Health Science Center epidemiologist Dr. Shane Fernando said there are still consequences for those who knowingly expose others.

“There should be ethical implications for this, right? If you know that you are infected with something that can hurt someone else, whether it be a cold, the flu or COVID, you must make all attempts to protect those around you,” he said.

Mexican authorities said the patient had previously traveled to Berlin and was at various celebrations during his time in Vallarta, including at Mantamar Beach.

Though they continue to look for close contacts and monitor them, they said no one else has shown symptoms.  

There have been 1,200 cases of monkeypox confirmed globally and 40 nationwide.

Health officials have said many have been linked to raves held in Europe.

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