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Texas patient first U.S. monkeypox case since 2003

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Posted at 9:19 PM, Jul 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-16 22:25:13-04

DALLAS — The CDC and health officials in Texas say a person has contracted a case of human monkeypox and they are working to contact airline passengers and others who may have come into contact with them.

The patient is a U.S. resident and recently traveled from Nigeria to America. They are now in a hospital in Dallas.

Officials said this is the first confirmed case of monkeypox in the U.S. since 2003.

Health officials are working to contact passengers who would have been on flights with the patient; one on July 8-9 from Nigeria to Atlanta and the second on July 9 from Atlanta to Dallas.

“Travelers on these flights were required to wear masks as well as in the U.S. airports due to the ongoing COVID-19 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,” the CDC said in a statement.

Monkeypox is a rare viral illness that can become serious. Symptoms usually begin like the flu and progress to a widespread rash on the face and body. Most infections last 2-4 weeks, the CDC says.

The CDC reports the strain of Monkeypox the U.S. patient contracted is common in parts of West Africa; it has a death rate of about 1 in 100 people.

The illness can spread between humans through respiratory droplets and through contact with monkeypox sores.