The Hays County Local Health Department (HCLHD) has identified two confirmed cases of monkeypox in Hays County. No further information will be released to protect patient confidentiality. HCLHD is investigating the cases and working to identify individuals who may have had direct contact with the patients.
Below are answers to frequently asked questions:
What is monkeypox?
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. Monkeypox virus is part of the same family of viruses as variola virus, the virus that causes smallpox. Monkeypox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms, but milder, and monkeypox is rarely fatal. Monkeypox is not related to chickenpox.
How is it transmitted?
Monkeypox transmission occurs through close physical contact with someone who has monkeypox, including contact with objects contaminated with the virus from contact with an infected person. Monkeypox is primarily spread through contact with infectious sores, scabs, or bodily fluids. The virus can spread by respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact. According to the CDC, anyone can contract monkeypox, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.
What are the symptoms?
Monkeypox often begins with fever, intense headache, muscle aches, exhaustion, and swollen lymph nodes. The time from infection to developing symptoms is usually 7 – 14 days; however, individuals may develop symptoms 5 – 21 days after exposure. Anyone with a rash that looks like monkeypox should contact their healthcare provider and avoid gatherings, sex, or being intimate with anyone until they consult their healthcare provider.
What is the HCLHD doing?
The HCLHD has received a limited supply of the JYNNEOS vaccine, which can be administered to individuals on a case-by-case basis. HCLHD is working collaboratively with the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), healthcare providers and other local health departments to identify high-risk contacts of confirmed or probable monkeypox cases. The county’s health department can evaluate on a case-by-case basis any individual that meets high-risk criteria and may benefit from pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent disease occurrence.
Where can I get more info?
HCLHD has developed an information hub for updates and information about monkeypox. The public can access this hub by visiting https://hclhd-mpx-haysgis.hub.arcgis.com/.
More information about monkeypox, including prevention, is available on the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/index.html
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