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Texas Department of State Health Services reports monkeypox spread within state

The first cases had connections to international travel, but others were infected within the state.

TEXAS, USA — The Texas Department of State Health Services announced 12 total monkeypox cases in Texas as of June 30. Three of those cases are individuals who had not traveled in the three weeks prior to their illness, meaning they were exposed in Texas.

The first cases had connections to international travel.

Desmar Walkes, Austin-Travis County's health authority and medical director, said in a Travis County Commissioner's Court meeting on June 27 that there is now community spread in the Austin area.

Monkeypox is a rare, viral illness involving a pimple- or blister-like rash, headache, fever, muscle aches, exhaustion, chills and swollen lymph nodes. The illness spreads through close contact, including touching a rash or body fluids as well as items that made direct contact with a rash or body fluids.

“With the sharp increase in monkeypox cases worldwide, it’s not surprising to see the virus spread in Texas,” Dr. Jennifer Shuford, Texas' chief state epidemiologist, said in a statement on June 30. “We want people to know what the symptoms are, and if they have symptoms, to avoid the types of close contact with other people that can spread the disease.”

On June 21, Austin Public Health reported it was waiting for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to return results on a presumptive Travis County monkeypox case.

APH announced on June 27 that it has an incident management team, and the agency is working with hospitals to conduct testing and identify cases. 

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