The United States Centre for Disease Control and Prevention has said that a rare case of human monkeypox was detected in Texas, making it the first case of the virus seen in the state.

A resident in the US who recently traveled to Nigeria was found with the viral illness, is currently hospitalized in Dallas. His condition remains stable, according to the health department’s statement.

“While rare, this case is not a reason for alarm and we do not expect any threat to the general public,” Dallas County Judge, Clay Jenkins, said.

According to the CDC, Monkeypox had also been reported in Central and West African countries since 1970, with a large outbreak in people in the US in 2003.

Monkeypox explained

Monkeypox belongs to the same family of viruses as smallpox. It is a rare but potentially serious viral illness.

It usually begins with flu-like symptoms and swelling of the lymph nodes and gradually develops to widespread rashes on the face and body, which can also spread from person to person through respiratory droplets.

Most infections last 2-4 weeks. Monkeypox is also in the same family of viruses as smallpox but causes a milder infection.

According to the CDCC, the patient was infected with the strain most commonly found in parts of West Africa, including Nigeria. The agency explained that it was working with local health officials to contact airline passengers and others who were in contact with the infected traveler during their flights from Lagos to Atlanta on July 8 and from Atlanta to Dallas on July 9.

The CDC further revealed that when the US last experienced monkeypox in 2003, about 50 people fell ill after imported African rodents infected prairie dogs, which subsequently infected humans, the CDC said.

This made the government launch a search across 15 states for infected prairie dogs.

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