A case of monkey pox was confirmed in a Texas resident who traveled to Atlanta from Nigeria on July 8, with a final destination at Dallas Love Field on July 9, the Centers said on Friday. for Disease Control and Prevention. It is the first case of the virus seen in the United States in almost two decades.
The patient is hospitalized in isolation in Dallas and is in stable condition, health officials from Dallas County Health and Human Services said.
“This case is not a cause for alarm and we do not expect any threat to the general public,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said in a statement.
The disease, caused by the monkeypox virus, has not been detected in the United States since a 2003 outbreak, which involved 47 people. This outbreak has been attributed to companion prairie dogs in the Midwest who harbored the virus.
But monkey pox can also be spread from person to person through respiratory droplets or other bodily fluids.
One of the reasons the risk of spread may be low in this case is that the patient – as well as other airline passengers – had been required to wear masks during the flight due to the pandemic, officials said in the statement.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention helps contact the patient’s other passengers and assess their potential risks.
“This is another demonstration of the importance of maintaining a strong public health infrastructure, as we are only one plane flight away from any global infectious disease,” said Dr Philip Huang, director of health services. Dallas County Health and Human Resources, in a press release. Release.
Monkeypox is linked to smallpox, which was eradicated worldwide in 1980, thanks to the smallpox vaccine. Both diseases cause a distinctive rash that lasts about a month. Smallpox had a higher death rate than monkey pox.
According to the CDC, it typically takes seven to 14 days after a person is exposed to the monkey pox virus to develop symptoms that start like many other viruses: fatigue, fever, headache, muscle pain.
Within a week of onset of symptoms, an infected person develops a lumpy, raised rash that often spreads throughout the body. The person is considered contagious until these raised bumps have crusted and fallen off.
Most patients recover within a month. In rare cases, the virus can be fatal. No one during the 2003 outbreak in the United States died.
The virus gets its name from the fact that it was first found in laboratory monkeys in the late 1950s. It was not until 1970 that it was detected in humans in Congo. The cases have been almost exclusively confined to remote areas of Central and West Africa.
There is no specific treatment or vaccine for monkey pox, according to the CDC, although the smallpox vaccine was used in 2003 to help contain the outbreak.
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