An incredibly rare case of an illness closely related to smallpox has been discovered in the US for the first time in nearly 20 years. Per NBC News, a Texas resident who traveled to Nigeria has tested positive for monkeypox, a disease not seen in the country since a 2003 outbreak, the first known outside of Africa, saw nearly 50 cases spread across several US states. The Dallas resident is believed to have the first ever case of human monkeypox infection in Texas. Per CNN, the unnamed patient arrived at Dallas' Love Field on July 9 and was hospitalized. Though the patient flew while infected, investigators aren't raising any alarms: monkeypox is not as easily transmissible as its far deadlier (and now eradicated) cousin smallpox.
What's more, masks required on the flight to fight COVID-19 make the likelihood of transmission via respiratory droplets very low, the CDC said.The patient is in isolation and in stable condition. Monkeypox causes typical viral symptoms in humans--including fever, chills, fatigue, and body aches--before fluid-filled sores appear on the body. A person remains contagious until the sores have scabbed over and those scabs have fallen off. The virus can be carried by small mammals, which can sometimes transmit it to humans. The CDC says the virus rarely proves fatal. While there is no cure or vaccine, some treatments, including the drug cidofovir, are available. (Read more monkeypox stories.)