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Monkeypox now in community spread, Austin health officials say

(Shutterstock)

After the first case of Monkeypox was confirmed in Travis County earlier this month, Austin Public Health is now reporting community spread of the virus.


Community spread means the virus is spreading at a rate that it can't be sourced to a single person or group of people. As of Tuesday, there are six confirmed cases and seven presumptive cases in the community.

Monkeypox, a smallpox-like virus, is spread by infection; it is not subjected to any one group of people. Symptoms of the virus include a rash that looks like pimples or blisters, as well as fever, muscle and body aches, headaches, chills and swollen lymph nodes.

Austin Public Health is warning Monkeypox can be transmitted through direct contact with the rash, prolonged face-to-face contact and intimate contact, as well as touching fabrics and objects that were used by an infected person. Measures that can be taken to prevent infection include:

  • Minimizing skin-to-skin contact, especially if a person has been exposed to the virus, showing a rash or skin sores.
  • Avoid contact with any materials, such as bedding, that have been in contact with monkeypox.
  • Practice good hand hygiene. For example, washing your hands with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Use personal protective equipment, mask, gloves, eye protection and gowns when caring for people infected with monkeypox.

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