Welp…health officials in Texas have reported what is believed to be the state’s first-ever case of monkeypox.
According to Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS), a resident tested positive for monkeypox after they returned from a trip to Nigeria last week. Since testing positive, the Texas resident has since been isolated at a hospital and reportedly remains in stable condition.
“While rare, this case is not a reason for alarm and we do not expect any threat to the general public,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said in a statement on Friday. “Dallas County Health and Human Services is working closely with local providers, as well as our state and federal partners.”
The DCHHS says the patient had flown from Nigeria to Atlanta before reaching their final destination on July 9, when they arrived in Dallas. Now, officials are working with airlines to track down passengers and others who have been in contact with the patient during their travels–but luckily, experts say the case doesn’t pose a major threat to the rest of the 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.”
The CDC reports that the disease was first discovered in 1958 in an animal facility in Copenhagen, Denmark. The first human infection was recorded more than a decade later in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The agency says the main disease carrier of monkeypox remains unknown, but experts believe rodents and other small mammals play a role in transmission to both humans and monkeys.
Stay safe out there, y’all.