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Local County Confirms Four Positive Monkeypox Cases

Health

In this photo illustration, blood test vials are seen in front of a screen that says ''Monkeypox'' | Image by Nikos Pekiaridis/Getty Images

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Denton County health officials announced on Friday that they had identified four positive cases of monkeypox in the county.

“Monkeypox cases are increasing in Texas, and we’re asking the community to be aware of symptoms,” stated Dr. Matt Richardson, director of public health. “As before, the risk to the general public is low. However, limiting exposure to individuals who are sick, previously exposed, and have a symptomatic rash is important. We continue to encourage healthcare providers to assess for potential infection.”

Officials are now working to identify people who may have come in contact with the four infected individuals. Authorities did not reveal the identities of these patients.

“While there is minimal known risk to the general public at this time, we are working with our partners at the local, state, and federal level to respond to the recent outbreak of monkeypox in the U.S.,” said Richardson. “It is important that healthcare providers recognize potential infection and contact DCPH immediately for lab testing assistance.”

The virus often begins with fever, exhaustion, intense headache, and swollen lymph nodes. Health officials said infected people begin showing symptoms within seven to 14 days. However, the symptoms could show within five to 21 days of infection.

Officials warn that anyone with a rash that looks like monkeypox should avoid gatherings, sex, or being intimate with others until they have seen a doctor.

The Dallas Express recently reported that 97% to 98% of cases discovered in other states “involve men who engage in high-risk sexual behaviors and/or have sex with other men.” It is not known what the genders of the people involved in the four Denton County cases are.

Still, anyone can be infected by the virus regardless of gender or sexual orientation. It can be transmitted from person to person through close physical contact with someone who has monkeypox, including contact with objects contaminated with the virus from contact with an infected person, according to Denton County Public Health (DCPH).

A limited amount of monkeypox vaccine is available, and DCPH said it might be offered as a post-exposure treatment for the virus. Denton County health officials said they are working with healthcare providers and other local health departments to identify high-risk contacts of confirmed or probable monkeypox cases.

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