Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Cynthia S. Goldsmith
Hays County confirms first two monkeypox cases
Hays County reported its first monkeypox cases.
The Hays County Local Health Department reported two confirmed monkeypox cases on Friday. Both cases are being investigated to determine who may have had direct contact with the patients. The county said it would not release any identifying information to protect patient confidentiality.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking the ongoing monkeypox outbreak spreading across the U.S. and several countries. Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus that is a part of the same family viruses as variola virus which causes smallpox, according to the CDC. Monkeypox is rarely fatal but causes a rash, fever, intense headache, muscle aches, exhaustion and swollen lymph nodes.
The CDC says 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. It can also spread by respiratory secretions during prolonged face-to-face contact. The CDC says anyone can contract the disease regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.
The CDC recommends anyone with a rash that looks like monkeypox to contact their healthcare provider and avoid gatherings, sex or being intimate with anyone until they consult their provider.
There were 11,177 total confirmed monkeypox cases in the U.S. with 815 in Texas as of Friday, according to the CDC.
Hays County said it has received a limited supply of the JYNNEOS vaccine, which can be administered to individuals on a case-by-case basis. HCLHD added that it is working with the Texas Department of State Health Services, healthcare providers and other local health departments to identify high-risk contacts of confirmed or probable monkeypox cases.
The county said HCHLD 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.
Additional information regarding monkeypox in Hays County can be found at HCLHD’s information hub at https://hclhd-mpx-haysgis.hub.arcgis.com/.