The U.S. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has alerted that a rare case of human Monkeypox that was detected in Texas, was found in a U.S. resident who recently travelled from Nigeria to the U.S.
He is currently hospitalized in Dallas, according to CDC.
This is the first case of the virus seen in Texas but Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins urged the public not to panic.
Monkeypox, which belongs to the same family of viruses as smallpox, is a rare but potentially serious viral illness.
It typically begins with flu-like symptoms and swelling of the lymph nodes and gradually develops to widespread rashes on the face and body.
“While rare, this case is not a reason for alarm and we do not expect any threat to the general public,’’ he said.
The CDC said it is currently working with the airline and state and local health officials to contact airline passengers and others who may have been in contact with the patient during two flights: Lagos, Nigeria, to Atlanta on July 8, with arrival on July 9; and Atlanta to Dallas on July 9.
Monkeypox, it is learnt, can spread from person to person through respiratory droplets but CDC expects less risk of the spread since travellers were wearing masks due to COVID-19.
The last time Monkeypox was seen in the U.S. was in 2003.
Nearly 50 people fell ill after imported African rodents infected prairie dogs, which subsequently infected humans, the CDC said.
This launched a government search across 15 states for infected prairie dogs.