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'Presumptive' pediatric case of monkeypox in Harris County ruled false positive, judge says

False positives only happen about 4% of the time, according to Judge Lina Hidalgo.

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas — What was assumed to be the first pediatric case of monkeypox in a child in Texas, was ruled a false positive by the CDC, according to Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo.

The case, which was deemed to be a rarity since it occurred in a child, is still being called rare as false positives only occur 4% of the time.

"We hadn't had a false positive," Hidalgo said. "This is the first one we've had with monkeypox with all the samples we've sent to the CDC."

RELATED: Monkeypox: Track Houston area, local counties and Texas case numbers; get answers to common questions

Hidalgo also said they were glad health officials acted under the assumption that the child was positive until they were told otherwise. In addition, Hidalgo said they will expand monkeypox vaccine eligibility.

"We're expanding eligibility to men who have sex with men," Hidalgo said. "We especially call on men who have sex with men, who also have multiple or any anonymous sex partners."

Vaccination appointments are also being opened to anyone with eczema or a skin condition called atopic dermatitis.

On Tuesday, Hidalgo said vaccine shipments to this point are less robust and predictable than they would like, but that federal officials promised to send more once 85% of the county's current stash is used.

RELATED: Texas surpasses 1,000 monkeypox cases

Texas reached more than 1,000 monkeypox cases — 1,119 to be exact as of Friday, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Of those cases, 450 have been reported in the Houston region.

Harris County Public Health and the Houston Health Department are still doing what they can to stop the spread by working to get more doses of the vaccine. 

On Wednesday, the city and the county received a total of 10,000 additional monkeypox vaccine doses. The shipment is not what health officials expected, but they hope it will help over 5,000 people in our area.

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