Monkeypox cases in Texas drop, but health officials remain cautious | New
AUSTIN — Cases of monkeypox are down in Texas, but state health officials are warning individuals should remain cautious.
“Texas is experiencing a decline in the volume of new cases being reported, but there are still a significant number of cases being reported each day,” said Lara Anton, senior press officer for the Texas Department of State Health Services. “We still want people to continue to be cautious in situations where they may have skin-to-skin contact with other people.”
Monkeypox is a preventable but painful disease that is spread primarily through close, intimate contact with someone who has monkeypox, state health officials said. Risks include having sex with someone with monkeypox, kissing or hugging them, or sharing cups, utensils, bedding, or towels with them.
This week, Texas surpassed 2,000 cases, reporting a total of 2,072 cases on Friday. The state reported its first case in early June.
Of the reported cases, more than 2,000 were in men, mostly between the ages of 18 and 59.
State health officials said residents should take precautions to avoid direct contact with anyone with a rash.
“We still want people to continue to be cautious in situations where they may have skin-to-skin contact with other people,” Anton said. “People should be aware of the symptoms and should see their doctor if they have been exposed to a case of monkeypox.”
Anton said people at high risk of infection should also see if they are eligible for a Jynneos vaccination as a preventive measure. The two-dose vaccine should be taken 28 days apart, federal health officials said.
To date, Texas has received over 56,000 doses of Jynneos. Anton said the state does not keep track of the number of doses distributed, but it has not “ran into a situation where the monkeypox vaccine was not available to someone eligible for the vaccination “.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told lawmakers this week that some parts of the country continue to see cases increasing at a rapid rate. But in general, the growth of new cases in the United States and around the world has declined, with a peak reported in late August.
“We approach this news with cautious optimism,” Walensky said.