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Monkeypox tracing continues as Cameron County prepares to provide vaccinations

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The Cameron County Public Health Department is busy performing contact tracing after they received confirmation of a monkeypox infection Tuesday.

The county previously said monkeypox vaccines could be distributed by Thursday, August 18. On Wednesday, the county said they’re now planning to begin vaccinations on Friday to get enough appointments to begin administering the vaccine.

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

The county health department said multiple people are being contacted to see if they were exposed to monkeypox, but none of the people contacted reported any symptoms.

Cameron County Public Health Administrator Esmeralda Guajardo said they will determine the level of risk after making contact with the people who may have been exposed

“Based on the risk levels, we determine what the next action step is going to be,” Guajardo said. “It may be a situation where we're going to just ask you to just monitor yourself and make sure you don't have any lesions, or any rashes that appear and that if they do, call us immediately."

Symptoms for monkeypox include lesions and rashes as well as fever, headaches, muscles aches, swollen lymph nodes and exhaustion.

RELATED: Hidalgo County begins administering monkeypox vaccines

Guajardo said it's a case by case situation to determine a person's risk factor, since there are different levels of exposure. The health department is also asking people who may be a suspected case to self-isolate as they await test results 

People who do test positive will qualify to get the vaccine, but only after four days ,

Shots in Cameron County are limited, and reserved for those considered high risk.

“It also can be for a health care worker who's working with labs or testing for monkeypox,” Cameron County Public Health Nurse Practitioner Margie Smith said. “It also can be if you are concerned that you've had a sexual relationship with a person that could have had those lesions."

Those who want to get vaccinated can contact the Cameron County Public Health Department at 956-247-3685.

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