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Dallas County could see local monkeypox transmission after newly confirmed case

A microscopic image of the monkeypox virus.
A electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows mature, oval-shaped monkeypox virions, left, and spherical immature virions, right, obtained from a sample of human skin associated with the 2003 prairie dog outbreak.

Dallas County health officials say there is potential for community spread of monkeypox after an infected person reported attending a local festival over the weekend.

Officials with Dallas County Health and Human Services say an individual infected with monkeypox attended the local Daddyland Festival, an event that included large parties and gatherings over the Fourth of July weekend.

It's the fifth case of monkeypox reported in Dallas County.

“In the other cases, the patients were able to isolate and stay at home and recover at home,” said Christian Grisales with Dallas County Health and Human Services.

Grisales said other people who attended the Daddyland Festival may have been exposed or infected.

“Now, we are facing a potential risk... among many people in the community,” Grisales said.

Monkeypox symptoms can include fever, muscle aches and a rash, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Grisales says monkeypox vaccines aren’t widely available in Dallas County, but he urges people who are experiencing symptoms to get tested at a local hospital.

“It can spread through contact with body fluids, monkeypox sores, or shared items such as clothing and bedding that have been contaminated with fluids or sores of a person with monkeypox,” Grisales said.

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Pablo Arauz Peña is the Growth and Infrastructure Reporter for KERA News.