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Monkeypox case confirmed at Fort Bend ISD high school

The student attends Ridge Point High School School. Contact tracing to identify potential exposures is underway.

FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas — Fort Bend Independent School District reported a high school student has a confirmed case of monkeypox.

The announcement was made Monday on the district's website.

The student attends Ridge Point High School, officials said. Families and employees of the high school have been notified.

The district said health officials are conducting contact tracing to identify any potential exposures based on proximity and will notify individuals directly if they are at risk.

The case is being investigated by Fort Bend County Health and Human Services.

The district said it will continue to work with the health department and follow CDC guidelines, including the frequent and ongoing cleaning protocols in place to prevent the spread. The district said it will also utilize its R-Zero ARC disinfecting devices at every campus and facility.

If any Fort Bend resident has questions on the monkeypox virus, you can call the health department at (281) 633-7795 or visit the website.

Another monkeypox case was reported Monday at a school in north Houston.

The case was reported at IDEA Hardy on Little York. We are working to find out if the CDC has confirmed it.

RELATED: Monkeypox case reported at school in north Houston, IDEA Public Schools confirms

They didn't say if the case at IDEA Hardy involved a student or a staff member and no other details were released.

The entire Houston region has reported a total of 596 cases, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Here are the latest numbers from other area counties with monkeypox cases:

For a look at how the Lone Star State compares to other states, check this CDC map.

Who is eligible for the monkeypox vaccine?

The latest Texas Department of State Health Services criteria for others who are eligible now includes these people:

  • People with a known or possible exposure to the Monkeypox virus remain the highest priority for vaccination.  

For people 18 and older the list includes: 

  • Men who have sex with men and have had multiple or anonymous sex partners within the previous 21 days;
  • Have a sex partner who is showing symptoms of monkeypox, such as a rash or sores;
  • Have had a diagnosis of HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, or early syphilis, within the previous 12 months;
  • Are on HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis;
  • Have a condition that may increase their risk for severe disease if infected with monkeypox virus, such as HIV, atopic dermatitis or eczema.

RELATED: VERIFY: Fact-checking common claims about the monkeypox virus

How does monkeypox spread?

  • The disease, which can cause a serious skin rash, appears to be spreading largely via direct contact with the skin or saliva of an infected person.
  • Monkeypox can spread from person to person through direct contact with the rash, scabs, or bodily fluids like saliva.
  • It can also be transmitted with prolonged face-to-face contact via respiratory droplets.  
  • Pregnant women can transmit the virus to their fetuses through the placenta.
  • At this time, it's not known if monkeypox can spread through semen or vaginal fluids. However, the DSHS says the majority of Texas cases, so far, involve men who've had sex with other men.

Monkeypox symptoms

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Chills 
  • Exhaustion
  • Rash that looks like pimples or blisters; the rash often appears first on the face and/or inside the mouth and then on other parts of the body.

Anyone who develops a rash should avoid direct contact with other people and contact their health care provider as soon as possible for the next steps.

For more answers to some commonly asked questions from the Centers for Disease Control, click here.

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