TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Travis County Commissioners voted Tuesday to extend the local state of disaster declaration approved by the county and City of Austin last week. This comes as the county reported an uptick in presumptive cases of monkeypox countywide.
Data reported by Austin Public Health found there are nine confirmed cases and 88 presumptive cases of monkeypox within Travis County, as of Tuesday morning. County presumptive cases had increased by nine since Monday evening, officials said.
Statewide, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported 992 confirmed cases in Texas, while the CDC is also tracking almost 12,000 cases nationally.
County leaders said APH is coordinating with state and federal partners to help expand monkeypox countermeasures, including preventative vaccines and treatment options for confirmed patients.
Currently, APH is fielding roughly 200 calls a day from people who think they’ve either been exposed to or are experiencing symptoms of monkeypox, officials said. APH is monitoring patients who’ve been exposed by calling them twice a day for 21 days and monitoring current and developing symptoms.
APH has placed a request for approximately 5,000 additional vaccine doses, but has yet to receive them. As part of ongoing response efforts, Commissioner Jeffrey Travillion said there needs to be enhanced focus on ensuring the vaccine is distributed equitably across the county, so historically marginalized populations aren’t also impacted by this vaccine rollout.
While all of Travis County’s confirmed cases have been found in men, Travis County Judge Andy Brown stressed anyone can contract the virus. Statewide, there have been reports of at least eight women and one child diagnosed with monkeypox, he added.
The extension of the local disaster declaration will continue until county commissioners vote for it to expire, Travis County officials confirmed to KXAN.