Page last reviewed: June 19, 2022

Houston Health Department confirms Houston's first monkeypox case

June 18, 2022

Threat to Houston remains low

HOUSTON - The Houston Health Department today announced a confirmed monkeypox infection in a Houston resident with recent international travel.

The confirmation represents the first detection of monkeypox in Houston. The department’s lab conducted orthopoxvirus testing Wednesday and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provided confirmatory testing results Friday night.

The resident developed symptoms after returning from travel and is experiencing a mild illness. The resident didn’t require hospitalization and is isolating at home. Privacy laws prohibit the department from disclosing personal information or further details.

Epidemiologists with the department will reach out to people who had direct close contact with the resident while infectious.

Monkeypox typically begins as a flu-like illness such as fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, chills and exhaustion, and swollen lymph nodes. One to three days after the appearance of fever, a rash develops -- often beginning on the face then spreading to other parts of the body.

The threat of monkeypox to Houston remains low. Monkeypox is rare and doesn’t spread easily between people without close, personal, skin-to-skin contact.

It also can spread from person to person through prolonged face-to-face contact or close contact with the infectious rash, scabs or body fluids. Contact with items such as clothing or linens that previously touched the rash or body fluids is another way monkeypox spreads.

The illness lasts two to four weeks. It can spread from the time symptoms start until the rash fully heals and a fresh layer of skin has formed.

People planning international travel can review the CDC’s current recommendations for monkeypox and other communicable diseases for their intended destinations at