DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – North Texas health officials have reported a case of monkeypox in a Dallas resident who recently traveled from overseas.
The Dallas County Health and Human Services department said the resident, who was not identified, traveled from Nigeria to Dallas and arrived at Dallas Love Field airport on July 9, 2021. The resident is currently being treated at a hospital and is in stable condition.
The department said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is working with the airline and other health officials to determine if there was any contact between the resident and other passengers.
Monkeypox is an infectious disease that can be spread through contact, especially through respiratory droplets, according to the CDC. The disease can also spread between human and animal contact.
Health officials believe the risk of spread through respiratory droplets on the flight was low due to passengers being required to wear face masks amid the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.
“While rare, this case is not a reason for alarm and we do not expect any threat to the general public. Dallas County Health and Human Services is working closely with local providers, as well as our state and federal partners,” said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins.
“We have been working closely with the CDC and DSHS and have conducted interviews with the patient and close contacts that were exposed,” said DCHHS Director Dr. Philip Huang. “We have determined that there is very little risk to the general public. This is another demonstration of the importance of maintaining a strong public health infrastructure, as we are only a plane ride away from any global infectious disease.”
Dr. Huang told CBS 11 News it’s cases like this where lessons from the pandemic are paying off.
“I think this is one more example of the importance of public health and how public health affects all of us,” he said.
Symptoms of monkeypox, according to the CDC, include fever, muscle aches and swollen lymph nodes. A rash will also begin appearing throughout the body.