Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) reports the first case of Monkeypox in a resident of Dallas County. The individual is a City of Dallas resident who traveled from Nigeria to Dallas, arriving at Love Field airport on July 9, 2021. The person is hospitalized in Dallas and is in stable condition. The individual is isolated at the hospital to prevent the spread of the virus.
Travelers on these flights were required to wear masks on the flights as well as in the U.S. airports due to the ongoing COVID pandemic. Therefore, it’s believed the risk of spread of monkeypox via respiratory droplets to others on the planes and in the airports is low. CDC is assessing potential risks to those who may have had contact with the traveler on the plane or in the airports.
“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.
Working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), DCHHS has identified and is in contact with individuals who were in direct contact with the patient. People who do not have symptoms are not capable of spreading the virus to others. Dallas County will not release further information about the patient to protect their privacy. Additionally, information about the location of the patient will not be released.
“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.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines monkeypox as a rare disease that is caused by infection with monkeypox virus. The first human case of monkeypox was recorded in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In 2003, the U.S. experienced an outbreak of monkeypox with 47 reported human cases. This is believed to be the first monkeypox virus infection in a Texas resident.