The US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed that a rare case of human monkeypox was detected in Texas on Friday, making it the first case of the virus seen in the state.
The viral illness was found in a United States resident who recently travelled from Nigeria to the United States and is currently hospitalised in Dallas.
He’s in stable condition, according to the health department’s statement.
“While rare, this case isn’t a reason for alarm and we don’t expect any threat to the general public,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins stated.
Apart from Nigeria, outbreaks have also been reported in West and Central African countries since 1970, with a large outbreak in people in the United States in 2003, according to the CDC.
Monkeypox, which belongs to the same family of viruses as smallpox, is an uncommon but potentially serious viral illness.
It normally begins with flu-like symptoms and swelling of the lymph nodes and gradually develops to widespread rashes on the face and body.
Monkeypox can spread from person to person through respiratory droplets.
The CDC said since travellers were wearing masks due to COVID-19, the risk of the spread of monkeypox via respiratory droplets to others on aeroplanes and at the airports was low.
The patient was infected with the strain most commonly found in parts of West Africa, including Nigeria, CDC added.
The CDC said it was working with local health officials to contact airline passengers and others who were in contact with the infected traveller during their flights from Lagos to Atlanta on July 8 and from Atlanta to Dallas on July 9.
The last time monkeypox was seen in the United States was in 2003.
Nearly fifty people fell ill after imported African rodents infected prairie dogs, which subsequently infected humans, the CDC said.