Patient hospitalized in Dallas with monkeypox, CDC says

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A U.S. resident who recently traveled from Nigeria to the U.S. is currently hospitalized in Dallas after the CDC and Texas Department of State Health Services confirmed July 15 that the patient has monkeypox. 

The person traveled on two flights: from Lagos, Nigeria, to Atlanta on July 8, arriving July 9. The second flight was from Atlanta to Dallas on July 9. 

"CDC is 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 the two flights," the agency said in a July 16 statement sent to Becker's

Since travelers were required to wear masks on the flights and in the U.S. airports, "it's believed the risk of spread of monkeypox via respiratory droplets to others on the planes and in the airports is low," the CDC said. 

The agency said there's been at least six other reported monkeypox cases in travelers returning from Nigeria, including in the U.K., Israel and Singapore, though the U.S. case is unrelated to them. 

The illness is in the same family of viruses as smallpox but typically causes a milder infection that lasts two to four weeks. Monkeypox typically starts with flu-like illness and swelling of the lymph nodes, followed by a widespread rash on the face and body. 

The patient was infected with a strain of the virus commonly seen in parts of West Africa, the CDC said, adding that this strain is fatal in about one in 100 people, but can be higher in those with weakened immune systems. 

Monkeypox is thought to be spread when an individual is bitten or scratched by an animal, prepares wild game or has contact with an infected animal or animal product. It can also be spread through respiratory droplets between people, contact with body fluids, monkeypox sores or contaminated items, according to the CDC.

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