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El Paso Health official discusses what first confirmed Monkeypox case means for El Paso

EL PASO, Texas -- Health experts discuss what the first confirmed case of Monkey Pox means for El Paso.

"We knew this was gonna happen eventually just like with SARS-COVID 2 it happened in a lot of places around the country and eventually got to El Paso," said Ogechika Alozie E.O at Sunset West Health.

Monkeypox is a viral disease that can be spread through skin-to-skin contact. It resembles a rash with blisters it can be painful or itchy. Symptoms of Monkeypox include rash, fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, and exhaustion.

Now that it's made its way to El Paso health experts say the general public should not be worried.

"This is not airborne this is close physical contact up till now 98 to 99 percent of the person's who've gotten this have been men// the majority of El Pasoans aren't at risk for this," said Alozie.

Still, some El Pasoans were concerned.

"I think that's pretty crazy I mean we aren't even really out of the woods with covid yet we're still getting cases with that and then now we have Monkeypox coming up so it's honestly kind of scary," said El Pasoan Scott Turner.

Doctor Alozie says on average a person with Monkeypox can be contagious for up to 21 days, The lesions and bumps can last another 3 weeks. As long as those are present a person is contagious. He offers this advice if you catch Monkeypox.

"If you're sick take yourself out of circulation if you have lesions take yourself out of circulation go see your physician and try to figure out what it is and if you're in contact with somebody that may have lesions its best for you to avoid them for a while," said Alozie.

"I feel like we just got over one and now we're going through another one so it is kind of overwhelming but I mean all we can do is keep going forward and have trust," Selena Abdalla.

Alozie added Monkeypox unlike COVID is spread through tighter social networks with close physical contact on average of 3 hours.

According to a news release:

"Public Health officials confirmed that a female in her 50s is the community’s first confirmed Monkeypox case. She is currently recovering at home and the City’s epidemiology team has begun an investigation and contact tracing."

An epidemiology team is working to identify close contacts to offer them vaccines.

El Paso received 200 doses of the Monkeypox vaccine earlier this month.

“Monkeypox continues to be a global threat and for this reason, we strongly recommend everyone continue practicing safety precautions to keep themselves and their family, especially our most vulnerable loved ones, safe from all diseases, whether it is COVID, Monkeypox, or the flu,” said City-County Health Authority Dr. Hector Ocaranza.

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