The Bell County Public Health District announces the first confirmed Monkeypox case in Bell County

TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) – The Bell County Public Health District reported the first confirmed Monkeypox case in Bell County.

The Bell County Public Health District is working with local health workers to investigate this first confirmed case of monkeypox virus infection in a Bell County resident on a recent trip within the state. The patient is isolated and recovering at home.

The public health survey has identified close contacts that may have been exposed and are being monitored and evaluated. The disease does not currently pose a risk to the general public.

There are now 338 cases in the state, including the most recent in McLennan County with the vast majority of these cases in the 18 to 39 age group.

As the number of new cases across the country and in Texas continues to rise, the Health District is working closely with the Texas Department of Health and Human Services (DSHS) and our local health partners to identify potential cases and limit circulation, ”said Amy J. Yeager, district director.

Monkeypox is an infection caused by the monkeypox virus, which belongs to the same class of virus that causes smallpox and the vaccine, but not chickenpox.

Symptoms of monkeypox infection include fever, chills, headache, muscle pain, and back pain and swollen lymph nodes, followed by a rash 3-5 days after the fever begins. They may also experience respiratory symptoms (eg, sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough). Symptoms of monkeypox usually begin within 3 weeks of exposure to the virus.

If someone has flu-like symptoms, they will usually develop a rash 1-4 days later. The rash can start anywhere on the body but most commonly begins on the face.

However, with the current outbreak, the rash often begins in the genital area. The rash may look like pimples or blisters. The disease typically lasts 2-4 weeks.

The primary way people become infected with Monkeypox is through close personal contact with an infected person, including sexual contact.

It can also be transmitted from person to person by inhaling large respiratory droplets or through close contact with body fluids and injuries, as well as contaminated materials (e.g., clothing or bedding, and by sharing dishes or cups, cigarettes or vaping devices, kissing and other activities where saliva could be mistaken for a person who has monkeypox).

People should try to avoid skin-to-skin contact with strangers, especially those who have a rash or whose health history is unknown.

Pregnant people can also spread the virus to the fetus through the placenta.

Monkeypox does not spread easily between people without close contact.

“While this current outbreak is quite specific, it is important for the community to understand the signs and symptoms of monkeypox, what to do if they develop symptoms, and know how disease transmission occurs,” said Amy J. Yeager, director of the BCPHD.

In most cases, the infection clears up without specific treatment, but people who are immunosuppressed, living with HIV, or who are pregnant are at greater risk of complications.

Children under the age of 8 are also at greater risk for more serious illnesses.

The best way to help stop the further spread of this disease is to quickly identify anyone who is infected and their contacts.

If you think you have been exposed to someone with monkeypox, you may be a candidate for a vaccine.

The vaccine is most effective when given within 4 days of exposure, but can be given up to 14 days after exposure.

If you develop any of the symptoms described above, contact your physician or the Bell County Public Health District immediately for instructions on what to do next at (254) 939-2091 or [email protected]

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