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Has monkeypox come to Travis County?

Monday, June 27, 2022 by Tai Moses

At last count, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had confirmed at least 173 cases of monkeypox in the United States. Monkeypox, also known as orthopoxvirus, is an extremely rare viral disease that is closely related to smallpox. Humanity has eradicated smallpox thanks to … wait for it … an extremely effective vaccination program! But this monkeypox outbreak seems to have been triggered by air travel from Africa. According to a news release from Austin Public Health, five of the confirmed cases of monkeypox are in Texas. Now another presumed case of the virus has popped up in Travis County, as the results of an ongoing investigation may soon confirm. “APH epidemiologists are conducting contact tracing and reaching out to people who had direct close contact with the resident while infectious. The resident came in close contact with someone who had traveled from out of state who is also under investigation for monkeypox infection.” Dr. Desmar Walkes, Austin-Travis County health authority, added that, “While the threat of monkeypox remains low, we recommend that all Travis County residents be aware and seek medical care if you believe you have symptoms of the virus. While our local health care providers are working with epidemiologists to monitor the virus, the community should continue the hygiene practices we know work such as handwashing and minimizing skin-to-skin contact, especially with those showing rashes or sores.” Read the CDC’s web page on monkeypox to learn about the symptoms of the virus and the measures you can take to prevent infection.

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