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'Not A Reason For Alarm': Health Officials Confirm Monkeypox Case In Dallas County Resident

A hospital.
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A case of the monkeypox virus has been confirmed in a Dallas County resident on Friday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Texas Department of State Health Services say the person travelled from Nigeria to Dallas through Atlanta on July 8 and 9. The patient has been hospitalized in Dallas and is in stable condition. Airline passengers and others who had direct contact with the patient have been informed.

In a press release, the CDC said the risk of the infection spreading was low since masks were required on the flight.

“Travelers on these flights were required to wear masks as well as in the U.S. airports due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, it’s believed the risk of spread of monkeypox via respiratory droplets to others on the planes and in the airports is low,” the CDC said in a statement on Friday.

Monkeypox is a rare disease, but potentially serious. It is first identified with flu-like symptoms, such as swelling of the lymph nodes, and then progresses to a widespread rash on the face and body. Infections usually last anywhere from 2-4 weeks.

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said on Twitter that local, state and federal officials are working together to contain the virus.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said he doesn't expect the disease will pose a significant risk.

“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,” Jenkins said.

The city, state and CDC are closely working together to prevent the spread of the disease.

“We have determined that there is very little risk to the general public," said Dallas County Health and Human Services Director Dr. Philip Huang. "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.”

Prior to this case, there have been at least six reported monkeypox cases in travelers returning to their home countries from Nigeria. The CDC believes this case in Dallas is not related to the six previously reported cases.

Got a tip? Email Haya Panjwani at hpanjwani@kera.org. Follow Haya on Twitter @hayapanjw.

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