Late last week, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins issued an emergency declaration for monkeypox. But Collin County says such a declaration isn’t necessary at this time.
The Allen American reports that Collin County Health Care Services (CCHCS) has identified 14 cases and has already done the necessary contact tracing. CCHCS will vaccinate those who have been in close contact with confirmed cases. Once more vaccines are received, the county will expand eligibility for the JYNNEOS vaccine for monkeypox.
“At this time, Collin County does not need to issue a Disaster Declaration. Our health department is well-positioned to respond to the current monkeypox situation,” said Public Health Director Candy Blair.
“Collin County does not have a public health emergency related to monkeypox,” said Collin County Judge Chris Hill. “The vast majority of cases that have been identified in Collin County are related to a specific lifestyle, and the public health department has the resources and the capacity to respond to these cases. Additionally, I have directed Collin County Health Care Services to offer resources and assistance to Dallas County, as necessary. Collin County is prepared to help support the region’s public health needs.”
According to NBCDFW, the total number of monkeypox cases in Dallas County is 215, and 98% of them are in men who engaged in intercourse with men. The Dallas Morning News reports that Dallas makes up approximately 45% of the monkeypox cases in Texas.
Monkeypox spreads through close skin-to-skin contact. The virus can also spread through respiratory droplets, but experts say this method of transmission is difficult.
“The danger to the broad population at the current time is still relatively low,” Dr. Prathit Kulkarni, assistant professor at Baylor College of Medicine, told The Dallas Morning News. “It’s not on the same scale — not even close — to the scale of COVID. The odds that it’s going to turn into something like that is much lower.”