Health officials warn of possible resurgence of monkeypox

KPRC NEWS – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in mid-May issued an alert of a possible [monkeypox] resurgence this summer as people gather for events and festivals. Cases have fallen from last year’s summer peak. Still, the outbreak is not over.

Dr. David Persse, chief medical officer with the City of Houston, joined KPRC 2+ at 7 a.m. to share more.

The Houston Health Department currently reports about two to three mpox [monkeypox] cases a month. It has reported 727 Houston cases since the outbreak began in 2022. A total of 30,395 cases have been reported in the United States.

Since it’s no longer in the headlines like last year, remind us of exactly what is mpox?

Mpox is a rare disease caused by a virus in the same family of viruses as smallpox. People with mpox often get a rash on their hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth or genital area. The incubation period is three to 17 days. During this time, a person does not have symptoms and may feel fine.

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The rash can initially look like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itchy. Other symptoms include flu-like illness such as fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, chills and exhaustion and swollen lymph nodes.

It spreads from person to person through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact and sexual contact.

Anyone who develops these symptoms should isolate themselves from others to prevent or minimize the risk of spread of illness to others and seek medical attention to be evaluated for potential testing.

Who is most at risk for monkeypox?

Gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men and transgender people make up the majority of cases in the current mpox outbreak. However, anyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, who has been in close, personal contact with someone who has mpox is at risk.

People with HIV or have other illness causing immune suppression or complicated medical conditions are at increased risk of serious complications from monkeypox …

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