McLennan County reports first case of monkeypox

WACO, Texas (KWTX) – The Waco-McLennan County Public Health District has confirmed the first case of Monkeypox in McLennan County.

Preliminary test results performed by a commercial lab indicate that the person tested positive, according to the health district.

The person is an adult woman who is a McLennan County resident with no known travel or exposure to other cases.

The Health District is conducting a contact investigation and will follow established monitoring protocols for any identified contacts.

“Over the last few weeks, the Health District Epidemiology team had started planning for the potential of cases being identified in the Waco-McLennan County community,” said LaShonda Malrey-Horne, Director of the Public Health District. ”This early preparation included communication with both hospital systems and health care providers in the area.”

The Waco-McLennan County Public Health District will continue to work with the Texas Department of State Health Services Public Health Region 7 to identify potential cases and ensure testing and treatment if needed, according to Marley-Horne.

“It’s not that we are on high alert, but definitely time for people to understand what this is,” Senior Epidemiologist Vaidehi Shah said.

Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of this illness typically include a rash that can look like pimples or blisters on the face, inside the mouth, and on other body parts; fever; headache; muscle aches; backache; swollen lymph nodes; chills; or exhaustion.

Sometimes people may only experience the rash, which goes through different stages before healing completely.

The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks.

How it Spreads

Monkeypox spreads in different ways, but it can spread from person to person through:

  • Direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids
  • Respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact, or during close physical contact
  • Touching items (such as clothing or linens) that previously touched the infectious rash or body fluids
  • Pregnant people can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta

Prevention recommendation from the CDC

Take the following steps to prevent getting monkeypox:

· Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox

    • Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with monkeypox
    • Do not have close physical contact with someone with monkeypox
    • Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with monkeypox
  • Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with monkeypox
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer

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