clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

There’s a case of monkeypox in Texas. Here’s why it’s a bigger deal than you think

A Dallas resident has a case of the viral illness after returning from Nigeria

A Dallas resident has a case of the viral illness after returning from Nigeria.
For three years the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has tracked the journey of Gambian rats from their African homeland, after pets, including Gambian rats, were involved in a Monkeypox outbreak in the Midwest in 2003, that sickened dozens of adults and children with a virus related to small pox. A Dallas, Texas, resident has a case of the viral illness after returning from Nigeria.
David Adame, Associated Press

A Dallas resident has been confirmed to have a case of monkeypox, a viral illness that has little risk to the public at large, The New York Times reports.

  • The case was identified in a Dallas resident who recently returned from Nigeria.
  • The resident was hospitalized but remains in stable condition.

What is monkeypox?

Monkeypox is a pox-like disease that has occurred in monkey colonies. It’s often found in humans in Central and Western African countries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

What are monkeypox symptoms?

Symptoms for monkeypox in humans are similar to smallpox, although they tend to be milder. The virus causes people’s lymph nodes to swell, according to the CDC. It takes between seven and 14 days for the infection to create symptoms, which last about five to 21 days.

Symptoms of monkeypox include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle ache
  • Backache
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Chills
  • Exhaustion

Is monkeypox deadly?

According to the CDC, the monkeypox illness lasts about two to fourweeks.

  • Yes, at least in Africa. According to the CDC, “monkeypox has been shown to cause death in as many as 1 in 10 persons who contract the disease.”

Are you at risk for monkeypox?

Clay Jenkins, the Dallas County judge, said in a statement on Friday that humans are not at high risk for monkeypox.

  • “While rare, this case is not a reason for alarm, and we do not expect any threat to the general public,” he said.

Similarly, Dr. Philip Huang, the director of Dallas County Health and Human Services, told The New York Times that the county has been working with state and federal officials to understand the potential of the virus’ spread.

  • “We have determined that there is very little risk to the general public,” Huang told The New York Times. “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.”

Is there a monkeypox vaccine?

According to the CDC, there was a monkeypox outbreak in the United States back in 2003. Some people were advised to take the smallpox vaccine to deal with the outbreak. The vaccine was used on people who were in outbreaks.