Is there a monkeypox vaccine? What to know following confirmed North Texas case

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Nearly a month after reporting the state’s first monkeypox case, Dallas County reported its first locally transmitted case on Wednesday.

The case was found in an out-of-state visitor who was in town for the Daddyland Festival, which ran from June 29 to July 4. Texas’ Department of State Health Services said the visitor went to a Dallas hospital with a rash and was diagnosed through laboratory testing.

Four monkeypox cases had previously been reported among Dallas County residents. The state’s first case was a patient who had traveled internationally in the past month and was isolating at home, the Star-Telegram previously reported.

Tarrant County has not reported any monkeypox cases.

Here is what to know about monkeypox, how it spreads and how it is treated.

What are signs of monkeypox?

Initial monkeypox symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion.

While monkeypox may not always appear the same way, typically a rash develops starting on the face and spreading to other body parts, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. Lesions typically form on the body, progressing from small red bumps to larger pus-filled bumps to scabs before falling off.

The incubation period ranges between seven to 14 days and five to 21 days, with the rash typically beginning within five days of the first symptoms, the TDSHS reports. The monkeypox case fatality rate is about three to six percent with most deaths higher in young children.

How is monkeypox spread?

Monkeypox is a viral disease transmitted to humans through close contact with an infected person or animal. It is primarily transmitted through direct contact with infectious lesions, scabs or body fluids. It can also be transmitted through contaminated materials like bedding.

Those infected may experience fever, rash and swollen lymph nodes, as well as more serious complications, according to the TDSHS.

Is there a monkeypox vaccine?

While there is not a monkeypox vaccine, because of its similarity to the smallpox virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report the smallpox vaccine can protect people from getting monkeypox.

ACAM200 and JYNNEOS are the two licensed vaccines in the United States to prevent smallpox, although JYNNEOS has been deemed safer to use in vulnerable patients and is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in the United States for the prevention of smallpox and monkeypox.

The CDC recommends vaccination within 4 days of exposure in order to prevent the onset of the disease.

Most people who were vaccinated against smallpox had minor reactions, such as a mild fever, tiredness, swollen glands, and redness and itching at the place where the vaccine is given, according to the CDC.

Talk to your healthcare provider for more information on vaccination against monkeypox.