Breaking News
More () »

Monkeypox could be on the rise with Texas A&M students back on campus

The Brazos Valley has faired well against Monkeypox so far, but with Fall classes at Texas A&M starting next week, there's a possibility that could all change.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — According to experts, so far the Brazos Valley has faired well against the Monkeypox virus, but with Texas A&M University starting the fall semester next week, there's a possibility that Monkeypox cases will increase.

"It's incredibly important for families and students, in particular, to understand that they are coming back into an environment, where folks are going to be coming from different cities within the state, across the nation, and even internationally," Director of MD plus program at TAMU, Robert Carpenter. "In doing so, unbeknownst to them, they may actually be bringing back viruses, bacteria, and other infections."

According to the CDC, there are currently 1,018 cases of Monkeypox in the Lone Star state. The Dallas/Fort Worth area has 465 confirmed cases, while Houston has 398 cases. Central Texas only has 97 confirmed cases but the Brazos Valley could soon be the next hot spot for the virus.

"As we see more people coming back into the community, we might see those numbers go up," Texas A&M Professor of Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases, Rebecca Fischer. "You really want to pay attention to the local public health authorities and to the news media where we're getting our trusted information, so we can understand how that risk is changing."

According to Dr. Fischer, every outbreak is different so it's important to stay up to date with the latest updates and case numbers. The Brazos Valley Health District, Texas Health and Human Services, and the CDC are all great resources for staying properly informed.

"By taking the time to learn about the virus, having conversations about this disease, you can avoid some of the many mistakes that people who were in my generation when we were young, made about diseases like HIV," Carpenter said.

Dr. Carpenter says besides getting vaccinated against Monkeypox, being open with your roommates, sexual partners, and family is the best way to protect yourself and others.

If you or someone you know does contract the virus, make sure to be respectful because the virus can to another person without them knowing until it's become a serious issue that has visibly manifested itself.

"People that are infected with Monkeypox are not choosing to get a virus, they're not choosing to get sick," Fischer said. "They're not choosing to suffer a disease that can last sometimes a month and with visible manifestations. So let's be kind and let's not stigmatize."

More from KAGS:

Before You Leave, Check This Out