AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin Public Health has announced it is investigating a possible case of monkey pox in Travis County. It is awaiting results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to confirm the case.
The person under investigation did not have to go to hospital and is in isolation at home, APH reports in a press release. The health department is contact tracing anyone who may have come into contact with the person.
“While the monkeypox threat remains low, we encourage all Travis County residents to be aware and seek medical attention if you believe you have symptoms of the virus,” says Dr. Desmar Walkes, health authority in Austin-Travis County. “While our local health care providers are working with epidemiologists to monitor the virus, the community must continue the hygiene practices we know work, such as hand washing and minimizing skin-to-skin contact, especially in people with skin rashes or to swear.”
APH said the potentially infected person came into close contact with someone who had traveled from out of state and may also be infected with monkey pox. They did not provide additional details about the individuals involved or where the individual traveled.
According to the local health department, monkey pox is rare and does not spread easily between people without close contact. The virus can spread from person to person by:
- Direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs or body fluids
- Breathing secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling, or sex
- Touching items (such as clothing or bedding) that have previously touched the infectious rash or body fluids
- Pregnant people can spread the virus to their fetus via the placenta
APH added symptoms of monkeypox may include:
- A fever
- Muscle pain and back pain
- Swollen lymph nodes
- A rash that may look like pimples or blisters that appears on the face, mouth, and other parts of the body, such as the hands/palms, feet, chest, genitals, or anus.
- The rash goes through several stages before it heals completely. This process can take several weeks