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Bell County Public Health District Announces First Confirmed Case of Monkeypox in Bell County

TEMPLE, TX (KWTX) – The Bell County Public Health District reported the first confirmed case of Monkeypox in Bell County.

The Bell County Public Health District is working with local health care providers to investigate this first confirmed case of monkeypox virus infection in a Bell County resident who recently traveled to the state. The patient is isolated and recovering at home.

The public health investigation has identified close contacts who may have been exposed and they are being monitored and assessed. The disease does not currently pose a risk to the general public.

There are now 338 cases in the state, most recently in McLennan County, with the vast majority of those cases in the 18-39 age group.

“As the number of new cases across the country and in Texas continues to rise, the health district is working closely with the Texas Department of Health and Human Services (DSHS) and our local health care partners to identify potential cases and limit the spread,” said Amy J. Yeager, district manager.

Monkeypox is an infection caused by the monkeypox virus, which belongs to the same class of virus that causes smallpox and vaccinia, but not chickenpox.

Symptoms of monkeypox infection include fever, chills, headache, muscle and back pain, and swollen lymph nodes, followed by a rash 3-5 days after onset of infection. fever. They may also have respiratory symptoms (eg, sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough). Symptoms of monkeypox usually begin within 3 weeks of exposure to the virus.

If someone has flu-like symptoms, they will usually develop a rash 1-4 days later. The rash can start anywhere on the body, but most often begins on the face.

However, with the current outbreak, the rash often begins in the genital area. The rash may look like pimples or blisters. The illness usually lasts 2 to 4 weeks.

The main way people become infected with Monkeypox is through close, personal contact with an infected person, including sexual contact.

It can also be transmitted from person to person through inhalation of large respiratory droplets or through close contact with bodily fluids and lesions, as well as contaminated materials (eg, clothing or bedding , and sharing utensils or cups, cigarettes or vaping devices, kissing, and other activities where saliva may be exchanged with someone who has monkeypox).

People should try to avoid skin-to-skin contact with strangers, especially those who have a rash or whose medical history is unknown.

Pregnant women can also transmit the virus to their fetus through the placenta.

Monkeypox does not spread easily between people without close contact.

“Even though this current outbreak is quite specific, it is important for the community to understand the signs and symptoms of monkeypox, what to do if they develop symptoms, and how disease transmission occurs,” said Amy J. Yeager, BCPHD Director. .

In most cases, the infection disappears without specific treatment, but people who are immunocompromised, living with HIV or pregnant are at greater risk of complications.

Children younger than 8 are also at higher risk for more serious disease.

The best way to help stop the spread of this disease is to quickly identify anyone infected and their contacts.

If you think you have been exposed to someone with monkeypox, you may be a candidate for a vaccine.

The vaccine is most effective if given within 4 days of exposure, but can be given up to 14 days after exposure.

If you develop any of the symptoms described above, please contact your healthcare provider or the Bell County Public Health District immediately for instructions on what to do at (254) 939-2091 or [email protected]

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