Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) reported the first cast of monkeypox is a Dallas County resident in a July 16 news release.
The Dallas resident traveled from Nigeria and arrived at Love Field on July 9. The individual is hospitalized and is in stable condition. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention is working with the airline and state and local officials to contact passengers and others who may have interacted with the patient during the flights.
The individual is currently isolated at the hospital to prevent the spread of the disease.
Travelers were required to wear masks on the flight and in U.S. airports because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Because of this, officials think the risk of spread via respiratory droplets to others is low. The CDC is currently assessing potential risks to those who may have had contact with the patient on the plane or in the airport.
“While rare, this case is not a reason for alarm and we do not expect any threat to the general public,” said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins. “Dallas County Health and Human Services is working closely with local providers, as well as our state and federal partners.”
“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 defines monkeypox as a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. The first human case was recorded in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In 2003, the U.S. experienced an outbreak of monkeypox with 47 reported human cases. This is thought to be the first case in a Texas resident.
The county will not release any further information about the patient to protect their privacy. Information about the patient’s location will not be released either.
From Staff Reports • [email protected]