Harris County Public Health Confirms First Monkeypox Case

As of June 18, 2022; the CDC has confirmed three cases in Texas and 114 in the nation

Harris County Public Health (HCPH) has just confirmed its first case of monkeypox in the County this afternoon from an out-of-state resident.

This person has since left the County and returned to their state of residence. HCPH case investigation team is working with the individual to identify others who may have been exposed. This news comes shortly after the Houston Health Department confirmed its first case of Monkeypox in a Houston resident with recent international travel.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), the monkeypox virus does not currently present a risk to the general public.

“Our case investigation team works with individuals with reportable illnesses to ensure they have the proper resources and guidance to protect themselves and others,” said Community Health & Wellness Division Director Dr. Ericka Brown. “While the current risk of monkeypox infection in our community is low, we urge residents to be vigilant and seek medical attention if symptoms consistent with monkeypox do occur. HCPH will continue to monitor and work with our federal and state partners to bring the most up to date guidance.”

Monkeypox is transmitted through close contact with an infected person or animal. It can also be transmitted from person to person by inhaling large respiratory droplets or through close contact with body fluids and lesions, as well as bedding and other contaminated materials.

Those infected may experience fever, rash, and swollen lymph nodes, as well as more serious complications.

The CDC is tracking multiple cases of monkeypox that have been reported in several countries that don’t normally report monkeypox, including the United States. The CDC urges health care providers in the U.S. to be alert for patients with rash illnesses consistent to monkeypox.

More guidance for providers and general information about monkeypox is available online at www.dshs.texas.gov/IDCU/disease/Monkeypox.aspx and www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/response/2022/index.html.