CDC Probing Monkeypox Case in Dallas
By Joey Berlin

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is investigating a case of monkeypox in a person who was diagnosed with the virus after traveling from Nigeria to Dallas.

Monkeypox is a virus endemic to several Central and West African countries, CDC says in a health alert released July 17. Recent reports of cases outside Africa involved either traveling to one of the countries or contact with a person confirmed to have the virus, CDC says.

“The rash appearance of monkeypox is very similar to that of smallpox, including a centrifugal distribution and lesions on the palms and soles,” CDC said. Early symptoms most often are fever and nonspecific symptoms “such as malaise, headache, and muscle aches following an average incubation period of 5-13 days,” the agency said. The early symptoms last about one to three days before a generalized rash appears, and patients are considered infectious five days before rash onset and are “infectious until lesions have crusted, those crusts have separated, and a fresh layer of skin has formed underneath.”

CDC also says human-to-human transmission is believed to occur primarily through “large respiratory droplets,” which requires “prolonged face-to-face contact.”

There’s no specific treatment for monkeypox virus, CDC says, although antivirals used for smallpox “may prove beneficial.”

If physicians or other clinicians encounter patients with signs and symptoms of monkeypox, CDC recommends they solicit a travel history from the patient. Physicians who suspect monkeypox should immediately contact their state health department or CDC’s monkeypox call center through the CDC Emergency Options Center at (770) 488-7100.

If your patients have had contact with a suspected or confirmed monkeypox case, CDC recommends they contact their health department for a risk assessment.

 

Last Updated On

July 20, 2021

Originally Published On

July 20, 2021

Joey Berlin

Associate Editor

(512) 370-1393
JoeyBerlinSQ

Joey Berlin is associate editor of Texas Medicine. His previous work includes stints as a reporter and editor for various newspapers and publishing companies, and he’s covered everything from hard news to sports to workers’ compensation. Joey grew up in the Kansas City area and attended the University of Kansas. He lives in Austin.

More stories by Joey Berlin