Jacqueline Minter

Fort Bend County health officials are investigating what are likely the first cases of monkeypox in the region, according to a news release sent late last week.

Several county residents are isolating at home after being in contact with someone exposed to the virus, according to Fort Bend County Health & Human Services. Preliminary lab results show the residents are positive for the virus and county investigators have sent samples to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

“The confirmation of Monkeypox in Fort Bend County is something we take seriously, and our health and human services department has been prepared to respond to an occurrence since the virus was first found in the U.S. earlier this year,” County Judge KP George said last week.

Cases of monkeypox have been on the rise across the country in recent weeks, leading some public health officials to worry the country is in the midst of an outbreak, according to an article on CNN.

More than 75 cases have been diagnosed in Texas alone and the CDC has found more than 1,800 probable cases across the country, in most states, according to the data on its website.

Monkeypox is a disease caused by infection from the monkeypox virus, according to county health officials. The virus spreads through contact with an animal, human or materials contaminated with the virus, typically via broken skin, respiratory tract or mucous membranes, according to the county.

Investigators have begun contact tracing to identify any others that might have been exposed to the virus, according to the news release.

County leaders first learned about the cases after being notified by a local physician, according to Jacquelyn Minter, the health and human services director.

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