Dallas County reported the first case of monkeypox in Texas this year on Tuesday. The case was identified in a resident who had traveled overseas, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. The agency also said the disease posed no risk to the public.
The department is investigating the case with Dallas County Health and Human Services and the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC had raised its monkeypox alert level to Level 2 last week to warn travelers to take precautions.
Here’s what you need to know about the disease:
What are the symptoms of monkeypox?
Symptoms of monkeypox include mild to severe flu-like illness and a rash with pustules, which may look like blisters. Once the pustules have resolved, they will scab over and fall off, which is when the patient is no longer considered contagious.
Follow-up of new variants:New omicron COVID-19 variants appear in Travis County as cases rise
How do you catch monkey pox?
Monkeypox can be transmitted by respiratory droplets, but only through close contact. This differs from COVID-19, which could spread around the room as an aerosol in the air. But monkeypox doesn’t behave that way, which makes it more difficult for the disease to be transmitted.
According to the World Health Organization, the monkeypox virus usually spreads to humans from infected humans or animals. The virus can be passed from person to person through close contact, such as skin-to-skin contact or by touching infected bedding or clothing.
People with monkeypox should avoid close contact with others until a week after the scabs resolve as a precaution, said Rodney E. Rohde, professor of clinical laboratory science at Texas State University, who studies infectious diseases such as monkeypox, influenza and COVID-19.
Will monkeypox cause another pandemic?
Monkeypox is unlikely to cause another pandemic, Rohde said, but with COVID-19 on top of minds, people could fear another major epidemic.
“We are very hypersensitive after COVID,” Rohde said. “I actually appreciate people appreciating what’s going on around them.”
The comparison with smallpox might also frighten some people, says Rohde, but the absence of deaths is one of the main differences between monkeypox and diseases such as smallpox or COVID-19. The United States had 35 known cases of monkeypox, including the Dallas County case on Wednesday, but no deaths have been recorded.
Most monkeypox symptoms go away on their own within a few weeks. According to the WHO, infected newborns, young children and people with underlying immune deficiencies could be at risk for more severe symptoms and even death from monkeypox.
Another distinguishing point between monkeypox and COVID-19 is the reproduction rate, which shows how many people an infected person is likely to infect. For the highly contagious original variant of coronavirus, the rate in the United States was estimated to be between 1.5 and 6.68, meaning that one infected person is likely to infect up to six people. The omicron variant had an estimated reproduction rate of 5.5 to 24, or between five and 24 people infected by a single person.
Rohde said the reproduction rate of monkeypox is less than one in America, which means an infected person is likely to infect a person or anyone at all.
Predicting pandemics:When will COVID-19 be over? How Austin doctors and scientists are predicting the future of the pandemic
Is monkeypox new?
Monkeypox is not a new virus, and this is not the first time monkeypox has been present in the United States. The first confirmed human case of monkeypox dates back to 1970 in Congo in central Africa. The last outbreak in the United States was in 2003 and included 47 confirmed and probable cases from a shipment of infected animals from Ghana to West Africa.
Is there protection against monkey pox?
Monkeypox is a distant cousin of smallpox, so the smallpox vaccine may offer some protection against monkeypox. During the 2003 outbreak, the CDC rolled out the smallpox vaccine, increased lab testing, tracked potentially infected animals, and investigated possible human cases.
The Strategic National Stockpile has enough smallpox vaccine to potentially vaccinate every person in the United States. This is different from the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 was a new virus, which meant a vaccine had to be developed. The first known vaccination against COVID-19 in the United States took place in December 2020, about a year after the discovery of COVID-19 in China.
“We certainly have the capacity at the public health and health care level to manage” these cases of monkeypox, Rohde said. unusual.”
Is there a test for monkey pox?
The United States has 74 Response Network labs that can perform PCR testing for monkeypox, which Rohde says is sufficient for the current infection rate. Still, as infectious disease experts monitor the virus, Rohde said it was important to ensure there were enough testing sites.
“This one certainly brings up another reminder of what I talk about all the time, which is the critical need for public health surveillance and diagnosis and things like that going on,” Rohde said. “We can’t hold back, wishing things would move forward, so this is a good reminder, because COVID has kind of been at least a little quieter, to wake people up that this needs to be an ongoing process and finance. , eternal need of the country.
Vaccines:Should your child get the COVID-19 reminder? Central Texas experts step in
#Monkeypox #Texas #heres