Monkeypox is a disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. It is not commonly seen in the U.S. Typical symptoms include fever, malaise and a rash that may appear as pimples or blisters. Monkeypox is spread by close contact with an infected person, or by touching clothing or linens that were in contact with the infected person’s rash or body fluids.
Travis County monkeypox case counts will be updated on Thursdays.
As of August 11, 2022
Confirmed cases: 9
Presumptive cases: 70
The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) tests for orthopoxvirus. Positive orthopoxvirus cases are considered presumptive monkeypox cases. Samples are sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) where they are confirmed through additional tests.
As of 7/29/22, DSHS has delivered enough JYNNEOS monkeypox vaccine doses to Austin Public Health (APH) for 1,500 people.
Because this is still considered a limited supply, APH is evaluating those who are high-risk close contacts to monkeypox cases for vaccination eligibility, following the required criteria of DSHS and CDC.
Only those who had a sexual partner in the past 14 days that was diagnosed with monkeypox or those who had multiple sexual partners in the past 14 days in a jurisdiction with known monkeypox are currently eligible to receive the vaccine.
Anyone who believes they are a close contact with a monkeypox case should reach out to their health care provider. Call APH's Equity Line at 512-972-5560 for information.
APH does not maintain a waitlist for vaccine requests.
If you have symptoms of monkeypox, you should see a health care provider for testing. If you do not have a provider, call 512-972-5560. You should only get tested for monkeypox if you are experiencing rash symptoms.
Testing involves a provider taking a swab of a lesion. You can only get tested if you have lesions. Only your provider — not APH — can give you the test result. While you are waiting for your test result, which can take a few days, isolate yourself from others.
Monkeypox is rare and does not spread easily between people without close contact. People who do not have monkeypox symptoms cannot spread the virus to others.
The virus can spread from person-to-person through:
- Intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling, wrestling, or sex.
- Direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids.
- Respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact.
- Touching items (such as clothing, towels, or linens) that previously touched the infectious rash or body fluids.
- Pregnant people can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta
Here are some things people can consider to decrease their risk for monkeypox:
- Decreasing the number of sex and intimate contact partners.
- Not going to places like bathhouses or other public sex venues.
- Avoiding raves, parties, or clubs where people wear minimal clothing and where there is direct, intimate, skin-to-skin contact. For those who attend these events or venues, avoid coming into contact with rashes or sores you see on others and minimize skin-to-skin contact when possible.
- Events where attendees are fully clothed and unlikely to share skin-to-skin contact are safer. However, attendees should be mindful of activities (like kissing) that might spread monkeypox.
As this is a newer outbreak, public health entities nationally and internationally are still learning about the potential networks or behaviors that may put people at increased risk, and APH will continue to share information with the community as we learn more.
A person cannot spread monkeypox unless they have symptoms.
Monkeypox is part of the same family of viruses as smallpox, but symptoms are milder and monkeypox is rarely fatal. Symptoms can include:
- Muscle aches and backache
- Swollen lymph nodes
- A rash that can look like pimples or blisters that appears on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, like the hands/palms, feet/soles of feet, chest, genitals, or anus.
- The rash goes through different stages before healing completely. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks.
Seek medical care immediately if you experience any of the above symptoms.
Considerations for lowering risk of monkeypox
A person’s risk for monkeypox is determined by their behavior and the people, or network of people, they come into physical contact with.
If you or your partners feel sick or have any rashes or sores, avoid sex and gatherings, especially if they involve close skin-to-skin contact or prolonged face-to-face contact, and see a healthcare provider to get checked out. This is always a good plan, even if a rash or illness is unrelated to monkeypox.
Examples of monkeypox rashes
- Mental Health Resources
Crisis Text Line
- 24/7 support via text
- Text TX to 741741
National Alliance of Mental Illness
- Call 800-950-6264
- Available Monday-Friday, 10a.m. - 10p.m.
- Housing Resources
Best Single Source Plus (BSS+)
APH Neighborhood Centers
- Provide emergency rent, utility and food assistance to low- and moderate-income families in need
- Food Resources
Food pantries in your zip code
- Call 211
Meals on Wheels
Central Texas Foodbank
- Find other resources for food, health, housing, and more
- Or visit 211texas.org