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El Paso doctor weighs in on monkeypox virus

EL PASO, Texas – El Paso City-County Health Authority Dr. Hector Ocaranza is weighing in on monkeypox.

On Tuesday, the first case of the monkeypox was confirmed in Texas. According to authorities, it was a single case infection in Dallas county. The patient had a recent history of international travel.

Dr. Ocaranza said people need to know that those who are becoming infected with monkeypox are largely due to travel. He said it could almost be considered a sexually transmitted disease. 

He said the signs include a distinctive rash that appears after transmission.

He reiterated that this isn't going to be a disease that people are going to be contracting very easily. Ocaranza said people would contract it through direct contact with someone who is infected.

Those who travel to portions of Africa are those who are most at risk. Dr. Ocaranza also said it could be passed on by droplets of people who are already sick or if they have lesions on their bodies.

He said he did not want to cause panic. He says this is something that is “uncommon” but does warn those who are traveling.

“This is not to be causing concern by the regular people. This is not something that we need to start immunizing. This is just to keep people aware,” Dr. Ocaranza said. 

He said the community should be vigilant of what is happening around the world and take precautions at the appropriate times.

"We are still going to continue to monitor, and if there are other recommendations, we will come to the public to let them know about this," he said.

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Rosemary Montañez

ABC-7 Reporter

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