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Thursday, October 6, 2022

Harris County resident who was presumptive positive for monkeypox dies; cause of death not released, officials say

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – An adult with various severe illnesses, who was also presumptive positive for monkeypox, died Sunday, according to Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo and Harris County Public Health.

Health officials said, at this time, the patient’s cause of death is unknown. HCPH is collaborating with partners to determine what role, if any, monkeypox may have played in this person’s death. An autopsy is in process, and the final report will be available in the next few weeks.

“We are sharing this information to err on the side of transparency and to avoid potential misinformation about this case,” said Hidalgo. “The best way for us to fight this virus is through vaccines. Our goal is still to get as many people who qualify vaccinated as quickly as possible – I have always felt that vaccines are the key to reducing spread.”

The department has been collaborating with Harris Health System, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) on this case.

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“We continue our work to control the monkeypox outbreak in our community and build healthier and stronger,” said Harris County HCPH Director Barbie Robinson.

No further information about the person will be shared at this time to respect the family’s privacy.

If you or a loved one is suspected of being exposed to monkeypox, please contact your healthcare provider.

If you have questions regarding monkeypox testing, vaccinations and other guidance, please call the monkeypox hotline at (832) 927-0707 or visit the HCPH monkeypox guidance web page at www.hcphtx.org/monkeypox.

About Monkeypox

Monkeypox is a zoonotic disease that includes a painful rash, which may look like pimples or blisters, often with an earlier flu-like illness. Zoonotic diseases are infectious diseases that are transmitted between species, from animals to humans (or from humans to animals and humans to humans).

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Monkeypox can spread to anyone through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact including:

● Direct and/or sexual contact with monkeypox rash, sores, or scabs from a person with monkeypox.

● Contact with objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, or towels), and surfaces that have been used by a person with monkeypox.

● Contact with respiratory secretions, through kissing or prolonged face-to-face contact.

Monkeypox symptoms usually start within two weeks of exposure to the virus, and within one to three days (sometimes longer) after the appearance of fever, people will develop rashes or sores.

Other initial symptoms linked to monkeypox include:

● Fever

● Headache

● Muscle aches and backache

● Swollen lymph nodes

● Chills or exhaustion

Copyright 2022 by KPRC Click2Houston – All rights reserved.

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