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A Dallas man tested positive for monkeypox after he traveled from Nigeria back to Texas. The unnamed man traveled from the West African country to Texas on July 9, 2021. Health officials confirmed the ultra-rare disease on Friday, July 16.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the person flew from Nigeria to Atlanta, Georgia before they reached their final destination in Dallas. The CDC has been working on contacting anyone who may have come in contact with the infected individual. However, health officials have stated the chances of anyone else contracting monkeypox is low due to COVID-19 mask requirements in U.S. airports and on flights.
The Dallas resident is currently in isolation at a local hospital. According to the CDC and Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS), the individual is in stable condition. Texas officials have stated this is the first confirmed case of monkeypox recorded in the state.
In 1970, the Democratic Republic of Congo recorded the first-ever case of monkeypox in a human. Afterwhich, the U.S. experienced a series of infections in the 1970s. According to Fox 4 News, in 2003, the U.S. experienced an outbreak of monkeypox when 47 human cases were reported.
The World Health Organization (WHO) stated there have only been six reported cases of monkeypox in the United Kingdom. Two of those cases were reported back in May when a man who worked in Nigeria brought the virus back to the U.K.
DCHHS Director Dr. Philip Huang stated that they had “determined that there is very little risk to the general public. 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.”
Experts “do not expect any threat to the general public,” according to Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins.
According to the CDC, it is unclear what the main disease carrier of monkeypox is. However, “African rodents are suspected to play a part in transmission.” Mayor Eric Johnson stated they “have confidence in the federal, state, and local medical professionals who are working to ensure that this virus is contained and that the patient is treated with the utmost care.” He added that “The City of Dallas stands ready to assist their efforts in any way necessary.”
Written by Sheena Robertson
Fox 4 News: Dallas resident has Monkeypox; believed to be first-ever case in Texas
The Daily Star: Ultra-rare case of Monkeypox disease found in man after trip to Nigeria; by Lauren Davidson
Top and Featured Image Courtesy of Bill Dickinson’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License