BELL COUNTY, Texas — Bell County's first case of monkeypox was confirmed on Friday by the Bell County Public Health District.
According to the district, that person is isolated and recovering at home. They also identified anyone who may have been in close contact to this person and others who may have been exposed.
At this time, health officials do not know how the individual got monkeypox.
“Even though this current outbreak is fairly specific, it is important for the community to understand the signs and symptoms of monkeypox, what to do if they develop symptoms, and know how the disease transmission occurs,” Amy J. Yeager, BCPHD Director said.
Monkeypox is an infection caused by the monkeypox virus, which is the same class as smallpox, according to the CDC.
- muscle ache
- swollen lymph glands
A rash also follows three-to-five days after the fever starts. Those infected could also experience a number of respiratory symptoms like sore throat, nasal congestion or cough.
Health officials say if someone has flu-like symptoms, they will usually develop a rash one-to-four days later. It may start anywhere on the body, but most commonly on the face.
"However, with the current outbreak, the rash often starts in the genital area. The rash can look like pimples or blisters," the department wrote in a news release.
The illness typically lasts two-to-four weeks.
You can become infected through close, personal contact, as well as inhaling respiratory droplets through close contact with body fluids, lesions and contaminated materials.
Health officials ask you avoid skin-to-skin contact with strangers, especially if they have a rash. It doesn't spread easily without close contact.
“Although the current risk to the general public is low, it is important to pay attention to any rash or symptoms that may occur and contact your healthcare provider or the health department immediately to help determine the cause,” Dr. Janice Smith, BCPHD Health Authority said.
In the state, there are 338 confirmed cases with most of the cases being between the ages of 18 to 39 years old.
For more info on monkeypox, click here.