A Dallas, Texas resident who had recently returned from Nigeria was confirmed as the newest case of monkeypox in the US. While officials say that the risk is low due to the air travel mask mandate, the news riled up Twitter.
Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) reported the first confirmed case of the rare viral illness in a statement on Friday. The infected individual arrived in the US from Lagos, Nigeria on July 8 via Atlanta, and traveled from Atlanta to Dallas Love Field airport on July 9. The person has since been hospitalized in “stable condition” in one of the city hospitals.
Laboratory tests showed that the individual was infected “with a strain of monkeypox most commonly seen in parts of West Africa, including Nigeria” which is “fatal in about 1 in 100 people,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said.
The identity of the whereabouts of the patient won’t be disclosed to protect their privacy, DCHHS said, noting that the individuals’ contacts are being traced.
“We have been working closely with the CDC and DSHS and have conducted interviews with the patient and close contacts that were exposed,” department director Dr. Philip Huang said, arguing that there is “very little” danger to the general public. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkis also played down the potential threat, noting that “this case is not a reason for alarm.”
Nevertheless, the CDC is currently working to determine “potential risks to those who may have had contact with the travel on the plane or in the airports,” the agency said.