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El Paso City and County Health Authority addresses Monkeypox confusion


EL PASO, Texas – There are 183 Monkeypox cases in Texas according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

However none have been reported in El Paso County.

Still, many El Pasoans remain confused about the virus and how it's transmitted.

ABC-7 spoke with City and County Health Authority. Dr. Hector Ocaranza.

He said the virus is in the same family as smallpox and is usually seen in Western Africa but said this year outbreak have been reported in more countries. Also the number of cases has risen rapidly making the World Health Organization to declare Monkeypox a global health emergency.

Ocaranza said Monkeypox can be detected by a rash that can look like pimples or blisters and appear on the face, and other parts of the body.

Symptoms include fever and headaches.

Dr. Ocaranza, said this virus is transmitted through sexual activity… although it can also be passed on through other methods such as close contact with the infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids.

The virus can also be transmitted over surfaces.

The illness typically lasts 2 to 4 weeks… and patients remain infectious until the rash completely heals.

The Texas Department of State Health Services said they have received about 15,000 doses of the JYNNEOS monkeypox vaccine and will send them out to local health departments upon request.

Dr. Ocaranza said El Paso is not in need of them at this point and said the county is ready to handle any cases and has systems in place to address the situation if needed.

He also reminds parents not to panic as students get ready to go to school next week.

“They are going to be hearing a lot about the Monkeypox in the next coming weeks, so we want the community not to be scared, not to be in panic mode.. This is not a very common condition but definitely, if we find a case we will address it appropriately,” said Dr. Ocaranza

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Brianna Perez


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