‘We have a lot of patients who have been exposed’: State health department to update monkeypox case count

The Texas Department of State Health Services will update the number of monkeypox cases in the state. Last week’s count had 556 confirmed cases statewide with 206 in the Public Health Region 6/5, which includes Harris County.

The Texas Department of State Health Services will update the number of monkeypox cases in the state. Last week’s count had 556 confirmed cases statewide with 206 in the Public Health Region 6/5, which includes Harris County.

Data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention shows there are 702 cases in Texas.

The disease can cause a serious skin rash that looks like pimples or blisters and there are often earlier flu-like illnesses. Monkeypox can spread to anyone through close direct contact often skin-to-skin.

Last week, President Joe Biden declared monkeypox a national health emergency. The government’s public health emergency website states the declaration could allow access to emergency funds, allow health agencies to gather more data and cases and vaccinations, plus speed up vaccine distributions.

Monkeypox vaccinations are available to individuals who have been directly exposed to monkeypox and/or are at a high risk of contracting the monkeypox virus.

Dr. Foye Ikyaator, the Medical Director of Life Saves ER, said they’re seeing close contact patients daily.

“We’re seeing about one or two cases presenting half of those are being positive, so we have a lot of patients who have been exposed that want to know what we’re seeing a lot of concern for exposure,” Dr. Ikyaator said.

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