DALLAS (KETK/ KXAS)- A person was recently hospitalized with the first case of the monkeypox virus in Texas.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Texas Department of State Health Services, the case was confirmed on July 15 in Dallas.
The individual is a U.S. resident and they traveled from Nigeria to the United States.
CDC is working with the airline and state and local health officials to reach out to passengers who may have been in contact with the patient.
Dallas County Health and Human Services stated the confirmation of the case is “not a reason for alarm.” They also said the patient is in stable condition.
The traveler who became sick was on two flights. One of them took off from Lagos, Nigeria on July 8 and arrived in Atlanta on July 9. The other trip was from Atlanta to Dallas on July 9. DCHHS said the patient arrived at Dallas Love Field Airport.
People on these flights were required to wear masks due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The CDC believes the risk of monkeypox being spread to other passengers through respiratory droplets is low.
“Working with airline and state and local health partners, CDC is assessing potential risk to those who may have had close contact with the traveler on the plane and specific settings,” wrote the CDC.
Monkeypox is a rare but potentially serious virus.
Once someone is infected they first can get a flu-like illness and swelling of the lymph nodes. Then, they get a widespread rash on their body and face. Infections last 2-4 weeks.
The CDC also shared the following information about monkeypox.
Monkeypox is in the same family of viruses as smallpox but causes a milder infection. In this case, laboratory testing at CDC showed the patient is infected with a strain of monkeypox most commonly seen in parts of West Africa, including Nigeria.
Infections with this strain of monkeypox are fatal in about 1 in 100 people. However, rates can be higher in people who have weakened immune systems.
Monkeypox was first found in 1958 when two outbreaks of a disease that appeared to be pox-like happened within a group of monkeys that were used for research. This is where the virus got its name.
The first human case of monkeypox was confirmed in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo during a time when officials were focusing on eliminating smallpox.
Prior to the current case, there have been at least six reported monkeypox cases in travelers returning from Nigeria (including cases in the United Kingdom, Israel and Singapore). This case is not related to any of these previous cases. In the United Kingdom, several additional monkeypox cases occurred in people who had contact with cases.