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A rare case of monkeypox has emerged in Texas, health officials confirmed yesterday (Friday, July 16).
The resident recently travelled back to Texas from Nigeria, and are staying in a hospital in Dallas where they are isolating.
According to officials from the Dallas County Health and Human Services and US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the person remains in a stable condition.
They landed at Dallas Love Field on 9 July from Atlanta after taking a flight from Nigeria the day before – and local officials have said this is the first confirmed case of monkeypox ever recorded in Texas.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it was in communication with the airline, state of Texas, and local health officials in order to locate anyone who may have been in contact with the patient.
It said the risk of the traveller spreading the disease to other passengers on the flight and in the airport is low – largely because of the face mask requirement to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic.
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The first case ever recorded of monkeypox in a human was in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the USA experienced a series of infections in the 1970s.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there have only been six reported cases of monkeypox in the UK.
Two of these cases were reported just last month when the virus was brought in May by a man who worked in Nigeria.
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In September 2018, the viral infection was diagnosed in three people in Northern England, all of whom had also travelled to Nigeria.
The disease comes from the smallpox family and can be transmitted through body fluids, respiratory droplets, and contact with an infected animal or animal products.
Monkeypox is milder than smallpox and most infections last between two and four weeks.
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