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Dallas County confirms first case of Monkeypox

Posted at 2:48 PM, Jul 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-16 16:28:10-04

The Dallas County Health and Human Services department has reported it's first case of Monkeypox.

The carrying individual is a Dallas resident, now hospitalized and isolated, who recently traveled from Nigeria and arriving at Love Field airport on Friday, July 9.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) worked with the airline and health/ state officials to contact anyone who may have been in contact with the patient during his flights, but travelers were all required to wear masks on the flights so officials are hopeful that transmission was low.

“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,” said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins.

Monkeypox is a rare disease that is caused by infection with Monkeypox virus, the first case was recorded in 1970.

In 2003, the U.S. did experience an outbreak of the virus with 47 confirmed human cases; the outbreak was a result of an animal vendor that sold prairie dogs who were in close proximity of Gambian giant rats from regions of Africa where Monkeypox is endemic, according to a CDC report.

While the CDC and health service officials are in contact with individuals who were in direct contact with the patient, officials also advise that anyone who does not have symptoms can not spread the virus.

“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.”