BELL COUNTY, Texas (FOX 44) — Monkeypox is not native to North America and is usually spread from animals to humans, but it can be transmitted from human to human.
“Basically monkeypox is it’s a it’s a rare disease and it comes from the monkeypox virus,” Bell County Public Health Director Amy Yeager said. “It doesn’t necessarily come from monkeys, but it is known to come from an animal reservoir.”
Monkeys were just the mammal studied for the virus in 1958.
Yeager says this virus is very uncommon in Europe and North America, and we currently only have four confirmed cases in the United States.
“Massachusetts, Florida and two in Utah are the only four confirmed,” she told FOX 44 News. “I was on a CDC call today where they were giving us an update and they have already done the serology on the one in Massachusetts to trace it.”
Monkeypox can present like the flu, but advanced cases will show lesions on a persons skin and the only way to contract it from a patient is through water droplets into the nose or mouth or bacteria from a lesion entering another person’s system.
So is there a need for concern from Central Texans?
“As far as Central Texas, you should always have a slight concern for any virus,” Yeager said. “However, the chances of it being here right now are extremely slim. We only have four cases in the United States”
Yeager says unlike COVID, this a disease the CDC has known about for many years and there are ways to treat it, like the small pox vaccine and anti-virals.
She ended by saying this is something to definitely keep an eye on but not to panic about.
“We do have a lot of people here in our area in Central Texas that do international travel. And we do have airports where people fly through internationally. So it’s good to be precautious, but with the way that the transmission has to happen, I really think that most Central Texans are going to be fine.”
For more information on the virus, click here.