Dallas County Confirms First Monkeypox Virus Infection

CDC Monkeypox data map June 2022
Map credit CDC as of June 7, 2022

Patient Recently Traveled On A Flight From Mexico to Dallas

DALLAS (June 7, 2022) – Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) is investigating a monkeypox case in a Dallas County resident with international travel in the past month to a country that has also reported monkeypox cases. Preliminary test results were positive on June 6, 2022, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) laboratory in Atlanta, GA will be including it in their official case counts. Due to privacy concerns, DCHHS does not disclose the patient’s personal information.

Public Health officials have identified individuals who have had direct contact with the patient and are monitoring them for symptoms of infection. In addition, CDC is working with the airline and state and local health officials to contact airline passengers and others who may have been in contact with the patient on board a flight from Mexico to Dallas. The patient has not been hospitalized, is isolated and recovering at home, and does not pose a known risk to others at this time.

“We have been working closely with the CDC and the Texas Department of State Health Services and have conducted interviews with the patient and close contacts,” said DCHHS Director Dr. Philip Huang. “We have determined that there is little known risk to the general public at this time. However, monkeypox cases have been spreading globally, and we are actively working with local healthcare providers to ensure they are prepared to recognize monkeypox and report suspected cases to public health officials.”

Symptoms include fever (≥100.4°F), headache, muscle aches, and swollen lymph nodes, followed by a rash. Lesions typically develop at the same time and evolve together on any given part of the body. Lesions progress through several stages before falling off (macules, papules, vesicles, pustules, scabs). Patients are usually ill for 2–4 weeks.

Monkeypox is fatal in as many as 1 to 11% of people who become infected. Prior vaccination against smallpox may provide protection against monkeypox.

The monkeypox virus spreads between people primarily through direct contact with infectious sores, scabs, or body fluids. It also can be spread by respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact. Monkeypox can spread during intimate contact between people, including during sex, as well as activities like kissing, cuddling, or touching parts of the body with monkeypox sores.

Recently, monkeypox cases have been linked to men who have sex with other men and participate in high-risk activities. Those infected with monkeypox may experience fever, rash, and swollen lymph nodes, as well as more serious complications. For more information, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/index.html