Monkeypox is Spreading in Texas and Reaches its Fourth Big City

Tom Handy

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MonkeypoxScreenshot from Twitter

After news of monkeypox hit cities in Texas including Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio, it was likely to spread to other big cities. Well, residents in Houston make up about one-third of the total cases in the entire state.

According to the Department of State Health Services as of Friday, Texas had 76 cases and 27 were in Houston.

But the Houston Health Department Director Dr. David Persse said, that’s a “tiny, tiny, tiny number. He added Houston has a population of 2.2 million residents.

Well, let’s hope that’s the case, and that monkeypox doesn’t spread as COVID-19 did. Texas Health and Human Services reported that 5,962,810 Texans had COVID-19 as of July 18.

A doctor in San Diego, California sees monkeypox a little differently since he has been flooded with emails, especially from Texas.

Dr. Carlton Thomas with the Digestive Disease Associates said:

“My inbox has been flooded. Not only with people from around the world, but particularly in the last five days with people from Texas."

He questioned why few vaccines were sent to Texas.

“I don’t really understand why there were so little vaccines sent to Texas in the beginning."

Houston can test people for monkeypox but there is one problem. They lack enough vaccines for the virus.

Dr. Persse commented:

“The original vaccine that has been made available is only in limited supply, and so the CDC is in a really difficult spot of trying to portion that out as supply increases across the country. Do I wish we had more vaccines? Absolutely. And I'm sure every public health officer in the nation feels the exact same way."

Only Houston men have contracted monkeypox

What is interesting is out of the 27 people infected with monkeypox, all of them have been men. No woman has come forward stating she has any of the symptoms.

Several of the men contracted monkeypox, and it is spreading in the gay community.

Dr. Persse said:

"Right now, from a public health standpoint, I really, really want us to not think of it as a sexually transmitted illness or one that’s only in the men who have sex with men community. Because in very short order here that will not be the case.”

Dr. Vandana Shrikanth added:

"During the initial days of the HIV epidemic, there’s so much stigma attached to it, because it was sexually transmitted because it was mostly seen in the gay population."

These are the initial symptoms mentioned previously here:

  • fever
  • body aches
  • swollen lymph glands in the groin or under pits
  • a skin rash turns into blisters

Monkeypox is not spread through the air like COVID but through physical contact.

If you have any of these symptoms, it is best to contact your health provider for testing. And then, testing could take some time since the tests have to be requested. Texas Department of State Health Services has a total of 20,000 test kits.

Education is the best preventative medicine right now to help contain the disease from spreading.

Do you think monkeypox will get just as bad as COVID-19?

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