A confirmed case of monkeypox has been reported at Texas State University in San Marcos.
The infected individual is a student who does not live on campus. The student will remain in isolation for two to four weeks, per guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as their lesions heal and cease to be contagious.
Dr. Emilio Carranco, the director of student health at the university, told KVUE that the Hays County Local Health Department would contact trace and notify any person who may have engaged with the infected individual in person.
As previously reported by The Dallas Express, several North Texas universities, such as Texas Christian University, Southern Methodist University, and the University of Texas at Arlington, issued statements cautioning students about the monkeypox virus and outlining their protocols and available healthcare services.
Dallas County has slowly broadened its vaccine eligibility requirements as health officials work through the waitlist of people who have requested the monkeypox vaccine.
Currently, individuals who meet one of the following criteria are eligible for vaccination:
- Persons who have had close, intimate, skin-to-skin contact with someone who has tested positive for monkeypox.
- Cisgender and transgender men and transgender women 18 and older who have sex with men and who have also had multiple or anonymous sex partners in the past 14 days.
- Cisgender and transgender men and transgender women who have sex with men and who have met partners through an online website, app, or social event, such as a bar or party in the past 14 days.
- Cisgender and transgender men and transgender women who have sex with men and who have had skin-to-skin or intimate contact (e.g., kissing, hugging) with persons at large venues or events in the past 14 days.
- Persons 18 years of age or older who were diagnosed with HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, or early syphilis within the past 12 months or are on HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).
Demand for the vaccine has posed supply issues amid the outbreak, but the White House is moving to speed up the production and distribution of 2.5 million doses of the JYNNEOS monkeypox vaccine.
The Biden administration has coordinated with the vaccine’s Danish manufacturer to move production to Michigan and adjusted the way the doses are administered, as reported by The Dallas Express.
Administrators with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are also looking into negotiating with large-capacity drug manufacturers like Pfizer and Merck that can take on that volume of production.
As of Thursday, August 25, Dallas County reported 466 confirmed cases of monkeypox. Texas reported 1,432 cases statewide.
Currently, roughly 98% of those infected in the United States are men, most of whom are between the ages of 18 and 40.