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Hays County confirms two cases of Monkeypox

Staff Report

HAYS COUNTY — The Hays County Local Health Department (HCLHD) has identified two confirmed cases of monkeypox in Hays County.

According to a press release, HCLHD is investigating the cases and working to identify individuals who may have had direct contact with the patients.

According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the Monkeypox virus, which is a part of the same family of viruses as variola virus, a virus that causes smallpox.

The HCLHD has received a limited supply of the JYNNEOS vaccine and is working together with the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), healthcare providers and other local health departments to identify high-risk contacts of confirmed or probable monkeypox cases.

According to a press release, “The county’s health department can evaluate on a case-by-case basis any individual that meets high-risk criteria and may benefit from pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent disease occurrence.”

No further information will be released at this time to protect patient confidentiality.

Monkeypox can be transmitted through close physical contact with someone who has monkeypox. The virus is primarily spread through contact with infectious sores, scabs or bodily fluids but can also be spread by respiratory secretions during extensive face-to-face contact. According to the CDC, anyone can contract monkeypox, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.

According to the CDC, Monkeypox symptoms typically begin within three weeks of exposure to the virus and can consist of fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes and exhaustion. Individuals with Monkeypox can also develop a rash on their hands, feet, chest, face and mouth.

The time from infection to developing symptoms is usually seven to 14 days; however, individuals may develop symptoms five to 21 days after exposure.

Anyone with a rash that looks like monkeypox should contact their healthcare provider and avoid gatherings, sex or being intimate with anyone until they consult their healthcare provider.

About Author

Megan Navarro (formerly Wehring) graduated from Texas State University in May 2020 with a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. In June 2020, she started a summer internship at the Hays Free Press/News-Dispatch through the Dow Jones News Fund and Texas Press Association. She then earned her way to a reporter position later that summer and now, she serves as the editor of the newspaper. Working for a small publication, Navarro wears multiple hats. She has various responsibilities including managing a team of reporters, making editorial decisions, overseeing social media posts, fact checking, writing her own articles and more. Navarro has a heart for storytelling and she believes that journalists are equipped to share the stories that are important to the community.

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