Cameron County reports first case of monkeypox in the Rio Grande Valley

5 months 2 weeks 3 days ago Tuesday, August 16 2022 Aug 16, 2022 August 16, 2022 4:41 PM August 16, 2022 in News - Local

The Cameron County Public Health Department received confirmation of the first case of monkeypox in the county, the department announced Tuesday.

So far no other county in the Rio Grande Valley confirmed cases of the disease.

The individual who tested positive did not report any recent travel outside the area, according to a news release. Cameron County Public Health Administrator Esmeralda Guajardo said this means the infected individual was exposed locally.

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A local clinic tested the individual on Thursday, and the department received laboratory confirmation of monkeypox on Tuesday.

According to the news release, the individual developed lesions and mild symptoms prior to testing. They are currently under home isolation and being monitored by the Cameron County Public Health Department.

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The department implemented their monkeypox action response plan and is currently conducting an epidemiological investigation to identify and test those who may have been exposed, the news release stated.

Cameron County is urging the public to avoid close skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash, avoid touching any rashes, scabs or lesions, constant handwashing, practicing social distancing and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.

The Cameron County Public Health Department previously said they acquired 100 doses of the vaccine on Monday and are expecting more, but clarified on Tuesday night that the shipment was short by 80 doses.

Health officials will be prioritizing the vaccines for those considered high risk. Guajardo said they hope to start vaccinating people no later than Thursday, Aug. 18.

Those seeking more information on monkeypox can contact the Cameron County Public Health Hotline at 956-247-3650, or go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

RELATED: Locals urged to prepare for monkeypox infections as cases continue growing outside the Valley

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