Confused Texans Ask, What The Heck is Monkeypox? How did it Get Here?
As if we didn't have enough to worry about, there's now a confirmed case of Monkeypox in Texas.
According to a press release from the CDC, a U.S. resident who traveled from Nigeria to Dallas has brought back a virus known as Monkeypox.
What Is Monkeypox?
The CDC defines Monkeypox as "a rare but potentially serious 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." If you're wondering, yes, monkeypox is in the same family of viruses as smallpox, but causes a milder infection.
How Did It Get Here?
Lab testing revealed that the strain of Monkeypox found in the U.S. resident is most commonly seen in parts of West Africa, including Nigeria. The infected person took two flights: Lagos, Nigeria, to Atlanta on July 8, with arrival on July 9; and Atlanta to Dallas on July 9.
Should I Be Worried?
The CDC states that "infections with this strain of Monkeypox are fatal in about 1 in 100 people." The person currently infected with Monkeypox has been isolated and hospitalized in Dallas. The airline and local health officials are working to reach those who may have been in contact with the infected person during the before mentioned 2 flights.
How Is It Transmitted?
The CDC believes that transmission occurs through respiratory droplets in humans. The virus can also enter "the body through broken skin (even if not visible), respiratory tract, or the mucous membranes (eyes, nose, or mouth)."
The airline has passengers wear face masks during the flight, so hopefully the virus wasn't transmitted to anyone else.
While Monkeypox was first discovered in 1958, scientists still aren't sure how it originates. However, scientists believe African rodents and small mammals play a role in transmission.
Stay safe out there, Texans!