Monkeypox gaining ground in the state of Texas

Tracy Gladney
Texas Public Health Regions:DSHS

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency on Saturday.

In the wake of that announcement, health officials say while monkeypox cases continue to rise in the U.S., the supply of vaccines is beginning to succumb to the demand.

In a press briefing last week The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said, "I want to acknowledge that at this time the demand for vaccines from jurisdictions is higher than our current available supply, and we know that this is frustrating."

The CDC ranks Texas the sixth highest state in the country with confirmed cases, following New York, California, Florida, Illinois and Georgia, respectively.

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) on Friday reported 183 cases of monkeypox in the state, up from 110 reported on Tuesday.

Of the 183 cases, the majority are in North Texas with a total of 89 in Texas Public Health Regions 2 and 3. This number increased over 50% from Tuesday’s report of 42.

Region 5 South and 6 is the next highest area in South East Texas reporting 51 cases on Friday.

The good news is that the monkeypox virus is rarely fatal.

The symptoms typically last from around two to four weeks.

The prominent symptom is the rash accompanied by fever, chills, exhaustion, swollen lymph nodes, headaches, muscle aches and backache.

Monkeypox is not an airborne contagion, rather skin to skin touch with someone who has the virus can cause transmission.

The monkeypox vaccine will prevent a person from getting infected before actually being exposed.

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) is allocating the number of vaccines to each state based on the total number of monkeypox cases.

Early on in the outbreak, Texas was allotted 3,000 doses.

Chris Van Deusen, spokesperson for DSHS said as we are nearing the end of July, approximately 20,000 doses of the vaccination will be available to Texas within a few weeks.

Anyone who has been exposed to monkeypox in Texas is currently eligible for a vaccine.

Local Texas health departments can request vaccines from the federal government said Van Deusen.

Contact your local health department if you have been exposed to the virus.

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Tracy Gladney is a freelance journalist. She reports on lifestyle and culture and lends a compassionate voice to those in need throughout the community.

Texarkana, TX

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