AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Officials with the City of Amarillo announced Wednesday that the city’s department of public health is reporting the first probable case of Monkeypox in the Amarillo area.

According to a news release from the city of Amarillo, officials said that initial testing was completed at a commercial laboratory, testing positive for orthopoxvirus.

“Monkeypox is an orthopoxvirus,” said Amarillo Public Health Department Director, Casie Stoughton. “Labs are confirmed at the CDC. Not all specimens are sent to the state or sent to the CDC for confirmation. So this will remain what’s called a probable case.”

Stoughton said the case fits the description, but they do not anticipate the specimen to be sent to the CDC for confirmation.

Monkeypox can spread through contact with body fluids, lesions or shared items that could be contaminated with fluids by someone with Monkeypox, including bedding, linens or towels. Officials said in the release that Monkeypox can also be spread through respiratory droplets to people in close proximity after prolonged exposure.

Officials said in the release that public health has conducted a follow-up on this case, but stress that the general public is not considered at risk.

According to the release, symptoms of Monkeypox may include:

  • Rash;
  • Fever;
  • Swollen lymph nodes;
  • Exhaustion;
  • Headache;
  • Body/muscle aches.

“It is important that we all are aware of what Monkeypox can look like. It’s a cousin to smallpox, so it can look like those blisters that would you know, kind of similar to chickenpox or smallpox, those fluid filled are called vesicles,” Stoughton continued. “They kind of look like pimples, but more like fluid-filled. So, you know, they can be very, you know, one or two or more spread out over the body.”

Officials said prevention tips for Monkeypox include:

  • Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like Monkeypox;
  • Avoid objects and materials that a person with Monkeypox has used;
  • Wash your hands often;
  • Vaccines are available for people who are eligible.

“I think monkeypox, you know, kind of right on the heels of COVID. You know, people are tired. I think prevention is important,” Stoughton said. “If you’re sick, stay home. If you have those lesions or the pox, then you know, certainly keep them covered. If you are around somebody that has that, certainly don’t touch it.”

Officials with Amarillo Public Health said that suspected or confirmed cases of Monkeypox in Potter or Randall counties should be reported at 806-378-6321. For more information, individuals are asked to visit the Amarillo Alerts website.

Click here for more information from the CDC about Monkeypox.