Monkeypox Patient Lands in Texas
The U.S. CDC and the Texas Department of State Health Services confirmed on July 15, 2021, a human monkeypox case in a U.S. resident who recently traveled from Nigeria to the USA. The patient is currently hospitalized in Dallas, Texas.
The CDC confirmed it is working with the airline and state and local health officials to contact airline passengers and others who may have been in contact with the patient during two flights while heading to Dallas.
Since travelers on these flights and in airports were required to wear face masks due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, therefore, it’s believed the risk of the spread of monkeypox via respiratory droplets to others on the planes and in the airports is low, says the CDC.
Monkeypox is a rare but potentially severe viral illness that typically begins with flu-like illness and swelling of the lymph nodes and progresses to a widespread rash on the face and body. Most infections last 2-4 weeks.
In this case, laboratory testing at CDC showed the patient is infected with a strain of monkeypox most commonly seen in parts of West Africa, including Nigeria. Infections with this strain of monkeypox are fatal in about 1% of people.
There is one preventive vaccine available in the USA.
JYNNEOS is the only U.S. FDA-approved non-replicating smallpox and monkeypox vaccine for preventing disease in adults 18 years of age and older.
The CDC is also running studies in the Democratic Republic of Congo to assess whether the smallpox vaccine Jynneos may help protect healthcare workers from contracting undiagnosed monkeypox infections from their patients.