Harris County baby presumptive positive for monkeypox; 1st child case in Texas

UPDATE: On August 23, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo announced that the case is now believed to have been a false positive and that the CDC says the child did not have monkeypox. Click here to read more.



A child under the age of two is the first presumptive positive monkeypox case in a child in Harris County, Judge Lina Hidalgo announced Tuesday morning.

"I say presumptive positive because all of our cases are presumptive positives until we get complete confirmation from the CDC," Judge Hidalgo said. "To put into context, so far, we have not yet had a presumptive positive not be a confirmed monkeypox case. At some point, that will happen but so far, it hasn't happened."


The county judge says it will take about a week to get confirmation back, but local officials are assuming it will be a confirmed case.

The child, who is expected to have a full recovery, has a residual rash but is otherwise asymptomatic, Judge Hidalgo said.

The child has not been in daycare or school, and it is not yet known how the child contracted the virus, the county judge said.

"We are in contact and have been in contact with the family who are fully cooperative," Judge Hidalgo said. "The family has helped us initiate contact tracing with the folks that this child has been in contact with. We are still in the early stages of the contact tracing, so we're not finished."

People the child has been in direct contact will be offered the vaccine.

Judge Hidalgo says this is a rare case and is believed to be the only one in Texas.

"This case in Harris County is one of only a handful of cases in young children nationwide. And I understand that it's a very scary thing, and parents have concerns," Judge Hidalgo said. "What we need to make sure is to be vigilant and understand the risks, not assume the worst. But this reminds us that this is very real."

RELATED: Owners spread monkeypox to their dog, doctors report

"I would like people to think about how easy it is for people l to transmit chickenpox, which chickenpox isn’t a true pox virus like Monkeypox, but it’s easily transmitted like Monkeypox," says Dr. Noreen Mayberry, Toxicologist and medical scientist. 

Dr. Noreen Mayberry or The Tox Doc, spoke with FOX 26. She says, the virus is not a sexually transmitted disease, and can be spread in many ways. She also says, since we live in a humid climate, the virus can live longer on surfaces. 

"Now is the time more than ever to keep those wipes on hand and to wipe a place down," said Mayberry. "When you come home, those fibers, clothing, you should take that stuff off before you get into bed."

"The thing about pox is that it can be transmitted through close contact, touch, or sitting in a place that has been exposed," said Mayberry. 

Hidalgo is calling for more vaccines from the federal government.

Vaccines are currently being provided only to select people including those who were directly exposed to monkeypox and those who are at high risk of contracting the virus. Learn more on the Harris County Public Health website.

County health officials also have a Monkeypox Hotline where residents can get answers about testing, vaccinations and more at 832-927-0707.