AUSTIN (KXAN) — KXAN is keeping track of the number of confirmed monkeypox cases in Texas, as reported by the Texas Department of State Health Services.
The first case in Texas was reported in Dallas County on June 7. The patient had traveled internationally.
Since then, DSHS has confirmed community spread of the virus within Texas.
Monkeypox is primarily transmitted through direct contact with infectious lesions, scabs or bodily fluids, but respiratory secretions can also transmit the virus, according to DSHS. Examples of activities that can spread monkeypox include wrestling, cuddling, kissing, sex or touching contaminated materials like bedding or linens.
The virus can also spread from animals to people through a bite or scratch of an infected animal, handling wild game or using products made from infected animals.
Most of the confirmed cases in Texas are among younger men, primarily in their 20s or 30s. DSHS says most cases so far are among men who have sex with men, so that population “should be especially aware of the situation and take precautions to avoid direct contact with anyone with a rash.”
Monkeypox symptoms begin with a fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion. A rash that looks like pimples or blisters may appear soon after the initial symptoms.
DSHS says the incubation period — the length of time between infection to showing symptoms — is usually 7-14 days, but can range from 5-21 days. The rash typically begins within five days of the first symptoms.
The illness typically lasts for 2-4 weeks, according to DSHS.
“With the sharp increase in monkeypox cases worldwide, it’s not surprising to see the virus spread in Texas,” said Dr. Jennifer Shuford, the chief state epidemiologist in Texas. “We want people to know what the symptoms are, and if they have symptoms, to avoid the types of close contact with other people that can spread the disease.”