DALLAS (July 16, 2021) – Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) reports the first case of Monkeypox in a resident of Dallas County. The individual is a City of Dallas resident who traveled from Nigeria to Dallas, arriving at Love Field airport on July 9, 2021. The person is hospitalized in Dallas and is in stable condition. 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 during the flights. The individual is isolated at the hospital to prevent the spread of the virus.
Travelers on these flights were required to wear masks on the flights as well as in the U.S. airports due to the ongoing COVID pandemic. Therefore, it’s believed the risk of spread of monkeypox via respiratory droplets to others on the planes and in the airports is low. CDC is assessing potential risks to those who may have had contact with the traveler on the plane or in the airports.
“While rare, this case is not a reason for alarm and we do not expect any threat to the general public. Dallas County Health and Human Services is working closely with local providers, as well as our state and federal partners,” said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins.
In 2003, the U.S. experienced an outbreak of monkeypox. This was the first time human monkeypox was reported outside of Africa. Forty-seven confirmed and probable cases of monkeypox were reported from six states—Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin – during the 2003 U.S. outbreak. This is the first case ever reported in Texas.
Working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), DCHHS has identified and is in contact with individuals who were in direct contact with the patient. People who do not have symptoms are not capable of spreading the virus to others. Dallas County will not release further information about the patient to protect their privacy. Additionally, information about the location of the patient will not be released.
Very Little Risk To General Public
“We have been working closely with the CDC and DSHS and have conducted interviews with the patient and close contacts that were exposed,” said DCHHS Director Dr. Philip Huang. “We have determined that there is very little risk to the general public. This is another demonstration of the importance of maintaining a strong public health infrastructure, as we are only a plane ride away from any global infectious disease.”
According to the CDC, persons identified as close contacts who do not have any symptoms do not need to quarantine and may continue routine daily activities. People who do not have symptoms are not capable of spreading the virus to others. All persons identified as close contacts will be actively monitored for 21 days for symptoms.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines monkeypox as a rare disease that is caused by infection with monkeypox virus. The first human case of monkeypox was recorded in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The symptoms of Monkeypox include: fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and exhaustion. Within 1 to 3 days (sometimes longer) after the appearance of fever, the patient develops a rash, often beginning on the face then spreading to other parts of the body. The incubation period (time
from infection to symptoms) for monkeypox is usually 7−14 days but can range from 5−21 days. Source: https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/symptoms.html
How is Monkeypox treated?
Currently, there is no proven, safe treatment for monkeypox virus infection. For purposes of controlling a monkeypox outbreak in the United States, smallpox vaccine, antivirals, and vaccinia immune globulin (VIG) can be used.
For more information, please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/index.html