BRAZOS COUNTY, Texas — Officials from the Brazos County Health District (BCHD) have confirmed Wednesday the first case of monkeypox in the area.
The news comes after the World Health Organization declared the virus a global health emergency earlier this week. On Friday last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the first two cases of monkeypox in children.
Health officials advised the public to be on the lookout for certain symptoms and signs of infection, which may include rashes that can look like pimples or blisters on the face, inside the mouth, and on other body parts. Other symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills or exhaustion.
Levels of reaction to the virus are likely to vary from person to person. According to officials, the illness can last from two weeks to four weeks.
The BCHD described monkeypox transmission methods as:
- "Direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids
- Respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact, or close physical contact
- Touching items (such as clothing or linens) that previously touched the infectious rash or body fluids
- Additionally, pregnant people can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta
- To prevent infection, the CDC has recommended individuals take the following steps to avoid exposure to the virus:
- Avoiding close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox
- Not touching the rash or scabs of a person with monkeypox
- Not having close physical contact with someone with monkeypox
- Not sharing eating utensils or cups with a person with monkeypox
- Not touching or handling the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with monkeypox
- Washing your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer"
According to the CDC, over 3,500 cases of monkeypox have been confirmed in the United States, with over 200 cases coming from Texas.
Dr. Seth Sullivan, Brazos County Health Authority will be taking questions Thursday, July 28 at 2 p.m. on Facebook.
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