Monkeypox Cases in Williamson County (updated Wednesdays)
How is monkeypox spread?
Monkeypox can spread to anyone through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact including:
● Direct contact with monkeypox rash, scabs, or body fluids from a person with monkeypox. It is thought that this is currently the most common way that monkeypox is spreading in the U.S.
● Touching objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, or towels), and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox.
● Contact with respiratory secretions.
● Pregnant people can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta.
This contact can happen during intimate contact including:
● Oral, anal, and vaginal sex or touching the genitals (penis, testicles, labia, and vagina) or anus of a person with monkeypox.
● Hugging, massage, and kissing.
● Prolonged face-to-face contact.
● Touching fabrics and objects during sex that were used by a person with monkeypox and that have not been disinfected, such as bedding, towels, fetish gear, and sex toys.
What are the symptoms of monkeypox?
● Persons may experience all or only a few of the symptoms of monkeypox.
● Most people with monkeypox will get a rash. Some people have developed a rash before (or without) flu-like symptoms.
● Monkeypox symptoms usually start within 3 weeks of exposure to the virus.
● The flu-like symptoms may include fever, headache, muscle aches and backache, sore throat, cough, swollen lymph nodes, chills, or exhaustion.
● If someone has flu-like symptoms, they will usually develop a rash 1-4 days later.
● The rash may be located on or near the genitals or anus but could also be on other areas like the hands, feet, chest, or face.
● The rash will go through several stages, including scabs, before healing.
● The rash can look like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itchy.
● The rash may also be inside the body, including the mouth, vagina, or anus.
Monkeypox can be spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has healed, all scabs have fallen off, and a fresh layer of skin has formed. This can take several weeks.
What should a person do if they have a new or unexplained rash or other symptoms?
● Avoid sex or being intimate with anyone until you have been checked out by a healthcare provider.
● If someone does not have a provider or health insurance, visit a public health clinic near you.
● When you see a healthcare provider, wear a mask, and remind them that this virus is circulating in the area.
● Avoid gatherings, especially if they involve close, personal, skin-to-skin contact.
● Try to remember close, personal, or sexual contacts during the last 21 days, including people met through dating apps. To help stop the spread, a person might be asked to share this information if they have received a monkeypox diagnosis.
What is WCCHD/Local Public Health Doing?
● Actively monitoring the spread in Texas, via calls with our regional and state partners.
● Raising awareness among medical partners and the public.
● Coordinating testing through our state laboratory (commercial testing is available at Mayo, LabCorp and Quest).
● Providing infection prevention and control guidance to the public and medical providers.
● Contact tracing to identify people potentially exposed to the virus.
● Facilitating access to MPX vaccine for pre- and post-exposure prophylaxis through the Strategic National Stockpile.
● Issuing premise alerts through Wilco Communications for any persons under monitoring, persons under investigation (when testing is approved) and confirmed cases through the end of their infectious period to protect the safety of our first responders.
Information for Healthcare Providers
What Clinicians Need to Know about Monkeypox
Texas DSHS Monkeypox Information Page
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Monkeypox Information Page
CDC Fact Sheets