BRAZOS COUNTY, Texas (FOX 44) – The Brazos County Health District has confirmed the first case of monkeypox in the area. Preliminary test results performed by an accredited lab indicate the person tested positive.

The Health District is conducting a contact investigation and will follow established monitoring protocols for any identified contacts. Signs and symptoms of this illness typically include a rash which can look like pimples or blisters on the face, inside the mouth, and on other body parts; fever; headache; muscle aches; backache; swollen lymph nodes; chills; or exhaustion. Sometimes people could only experience the rash – which goes through different stages before healing completely. The illness typically lasts between two and four weeks.

The district says monkeypox spreads in different ways, including:

  • Direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids
  • Respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact, or close physical contact
  • Touching items (such as clothing or linens) which previously touched the infectious rash or body fluids
  • Pregnant people can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta

The CDC recommends the following to prevent monkeypox:

  • Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox
  • Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with monkeypox
  • Do not have close physical contact with someone with monkeypox
  • Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with monkeypox
  • Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with monkeypox
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer

If you had close contact with a person who has monkeypox or if you start showing symptoms, you are urged to contact your health provider to determine testing and should isolate at home. If you have an active rash or other symptoms, you are urged to stay in a separate room or area away from people or pets you live with, when possible.