2 monkeypox cases confirmed in Houston area

A threat to Houston remains low, according to the Houston Health Department.

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Sunday, June 19, 2022
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A threat of monkeypox to Houston remains low. Monkeypox is rare and doesn't spread easily between people without close, personal, skin-to-skin contact.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Both the city of Houston and Harris County are confirming their first cases of monkeypox.

The Houston Health Department announced on Saturday a confirmed monkeypox infection in a Houston resident with recent international travel.

The resident developed symptoms after returning from travel and is experiencing a mild illness. The resident didn't require hospitalization and is isolating at home.

Harris County Public Health (HCPH) also confirmed its first case of monkeypox in the County on Saturday from an out-of-state resident.

This person has since left Harris County and returned to their state of residence, according to HCPH.

The news came shortly after the Houston Health Department confirmed its first case.

The department and HCPH says epidemiologists will reach out to people who had direct close contact with the resident while infectious.

Monkeypox typically begins as a flu-like illness such as fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, chills and exhaustion, and swollen lymph nodes. One to three days after the appearance of fever, a rash develops -- often beginning on the face then spreading to other parts of the body.

The threat of monkeypox to Houston remains low. Monkeypox is rare and doesn't spread easily between people without close, personal, skin-to-skin contact.

It also can spread from person to person through prolonged face-to-face contact or close contact with the infectious rash, scabs or body fluids. Contact with items such as clothing or linens that previously touched the rash or body fluids is another way monkeypox spreads.

The illness lasts two to four weeks. It can spread from the time symptoms start until the rash fully heals and a fresh layer of skin has formed.

People planning international travel can review the CDC's current recommendations for monkeypox and other communicable diseases for their intended destinations on their website.

SEE RELATED: Monkeypox in Texas: Single Dallas case involved person who flew from Mexico