Friday, August 19, 2022

Denton County reports 6 new monkeypox cases

In a weekly update from Denton County Public Health, the county health department has identified six new positive cases of monkeypox in the county, bringing the countywide total to 10.

No personal information was released, to protect patient confidentiality. DCPH is investigating the cases and working to identify people who may have had direct contact with the patients, according to the DCPH news release.

The World Health Organization has declared monkeypox a Global Health Emergency – at least 16,000 infections have been documented in over 40 countries.

Anyone can contract monkeypox, DCPH officials said. Monkeypox transmission occurs through close physical contact with someone who has monkeypox, including contact with objects contaminated with the virus from contact with an infected person, according to DCPH. Monkeypox is primarily spread through contact with infectious sores, scabs, or bodily fluids. The virus can spread by respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact.

Monkeypox often begins with fever, intense headache, muscle aches, exhaustion and swollen lymph nodes. The time from infection to developing symptoms is usually seven to 14 days; however, individuals may develop symptoms five to 21 days after exposure.  Anyone with a rash that looks like monkeypox should contact their healthcare provider and avoid gatherings, sex or being intimate with anyone until they consult their healthcare provider.

There is currently limited monkeypox vaccine supply available. DCPH is working with healthcare providers and other local health departments to identify high-risk contacts of confirmed or probable monkeypox cases. Vaccination may be offered to high-risk contacts as post-exposure prophylaxis and will be coordinated by DCPH. Monkeypox vaccination is not currently recommended for the general public.

DCPH will release weekly updates on Mondays with totals of new monkeypox cases in Denton County. Visit dentoncounty.gov/monkeypox for daily updates and more information about monkeypox.

Mark Smith
Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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