RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Suspected Monkeypox cases are popping up across the U.S. Local doctors explain it could make its way to Texas and now a new strain has been detected.
Monkeypox symptoms of Monkeypox include fever and fatigue but what sticks out the most is the skin condition that shows up.
“People will develop very characteristic skin lesions and at some point, they will be fluid-filled lesions on your skin that can last for some time,” said Dr. Jose Campo Maldonado an Infectious Disease Specialist for Valley Baptist Medical Center and Assistant Professor at UTRGV.
Maldonado said Monkeypox is a rare infection but with cases appearing across the U.S. it has become an outbreak.
“Skin to skin contact or very close contact including intimate contact can of course lead to transmission of this disease,” said Maldonado.
Monkeypox is not a new viral infection. Doctors explained that it use to be connected to people who traveled to areas with a lot of wildlife, in particular parts of Africa where many are infected through bites by rodents or small animals.
“The first transmission came from monkeys. I think it was a research facility in Africa and they saw the first infection,” said Dr. Eduardo Candinosa who specializes in Emergency Room Family Medicine at South Texas Health System.
Candinosa said vaccines have been made for smallpox but added it can be given to people who get infected with Monkeypox.
“The vaccine is the one we use for smallpox, yes it works, it’s approved by the FDA. Currently it’s not open to the whole public, the FDA and CDC have specific guidelines,” said Candinosa.
The recovery time for those who get infected with Monkeypox can take weeks. “From 2-4 weeks and after that usually a patient is back to normal and asymptomatic,” said Candinosa.
Most of those in the U.S. who have contracted Monkeypox traveled internationally. Doctors said if you experience any symptoms stay home and contact your doctor as soon as they show up. So far, doctors say no suspected Monkeypox cases have been reported in Texas.