First monkeypox case reported inside Harris County Jail, sheriff says

HOUSTON – A Harris County Jail inmate has tested positive for monkeypox, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said Thursday.

In a news conference, officials said the inmate, who appeared to be in his 30s, was booked on Aug. 15 and tested positive for the virus on Aug. 22.

Sheriff Gonzalez said the inmate is being placed in temporary quarantine and officials with HCSO have activated protocols for contact tracing. County health officials were also notified.

Marquita Casely-Hayford, medical liasion for the Harris County Sheriff’s Office said the risk of monkeypox remains very low inside the jail.

Officials will also follow COVID-19 protocols, including cleaning and disinfecting protocols, Gonzalez said.


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A graduate of the University of Houston-Downtown, Ana moved to H-Town from sunny southern California in 2015. In 2020, she joined the KPRC 2 digital team as an intern. Ana is a self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur, a catmom of 2, and an aquarium enthusiast. In her spare time, she's an avid video gamer and loves to travel.