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First Monkeypox case confirmed in Bell County

Posted at 6:01 PM, Jul 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-29 19:01:22-04

The first confirmed case of Monkeypox in Bell County was reported on Friday by a resident who recently traveled within the state.

The Bell County Public Health District said the patient is isolated and recovering at home. The public health investigation identified close contacts of the patient who may have been exposed.

"The illness does not currently present a risk to the general public," said the public health district. "There are now 338 cases in the state, and the vast majority of these cases are in the age group from 18-39."

The primary way people become infected is through close, personal, and/or skin-to-skin contact with an infected person.

“Even though this current outbreak is fairly specific, it is important for the community to understand the signs and symptoms of monkeypox, what to do if they develop symptoms, and know how the disease transmission occurs,” said Amy J. Yeager, BCPHD director.

The infection clears up without any specific treatment in most cases, however immunosuppressed individuals, people living with HIV, pregnant women, and children under 8 years of age at are at risk of complications or more severe disease, according to the health district.

“Although the current risk to the general public is low, it is important to pay attention to any rash or symptoms that may occur and contact your healthcare provider or the health department immediately to help determine the cause,” said Dr. Janice Smith, BCPHD health authority.

Anyone with symptoms is asked to contact their health care provider or the Bell County Public Health District immediately to receive instructions on what to do next at (254) 939-2091 or disease@bellcountyhealth.org.