SAN ANTONIO – On Friday, the San Antonio Metropolitan Heath District confirmed that a third case of monkeypox is in Bexar County.
The new case was diagnosed a day after Metro Health officials said two people had confirmed cases of the virus.
Health officials said the individuals are isolating and are following the recommended protocols. Metro Health has also notified their close contacts and says the risk to the public is still considered low.
According to the CDC, Texas has reported 43 cases of monkeypox, as of Friday.
The rare viral disease involves “skin lesions in the genital, groin, and anal regions” that could be confused with rashes caused by herpes and syphilis, according to health officials.
Other symptoms of monkeypox include fever, chills, headache, muscle aches and backache, exhaustion, and swollen lymph nodes.
“With increased cases occurring nationwide and across the state, we have been actively monitoring this situation,” said Metro Health Director Claude A. Jacob in a news release on Thursday. “Because the disease does not easily spread from person-to-person without direct contact, the chance of exposure to the public is minimal. We encourage residents to be aware of the symptoms, follow prevention recommendations, and consult with a healthcare provider when needed.”
Monkeypox is part of the same family of viruses that cause smallpox, according to the CDC.
It can be spread through skin-to-skin contact, especially with a rash, scabs or by sharing body fluids with someone who has the viral disease.
“Additionally, touching objects, fabrics, and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox or close contact with respiratory secretions can transmit the disease,” Metro Health said in a release.
To help curb the spread of monkeypox, Metro Health recommends the following:
- Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact in large crowds where people are wearing minimal clothing (such as nightclubs, festivals, raves, saunas, and bathhouses).
- Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with someone with a new, unexplained rash.
- If you were exposed to monkeypox or have symptoms such as fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes and a new, unexplained rash, contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Healthcare providers can provide testing and care for people with monkeypox.
- If sick with monkeypox, isolate at home until the rash has fully resolved, the scabs have fallen off, and a fresh layer of intact skin has formed. Monkeypox is usually a self-limiting infection that does not require hospitalization.
Supplies of the vaccine against monkeypox are limited, including in Bexar County. Health officials said vaccination is only being offered to people identified as contacts during case investigations.
You can learn more about monkeypox here.