HOUSTON (CW39) — Harris County government and health officials are reporting a presumptive positive case of monkeypox and an expansion for its vaccine even further, with limited supplies.

LOCAL CHILD CASE

A child under two years old is first in Harris County, as well as the state of Texas to possibly test positive for monkeypox. The child’s case would also be the first child among 269 cases recorded in all of Harris County.

This is the seventh child in the country to contract the virus.

Local health authorities are still in the early process of contact tracing to determine how the child may have contracted the virus and to close the circle of transmission. “The child has not been in groups or crowds. Also, all those in the child’s circle is being offered the monkeypox vaccine. The child is asymptomatic. This opens up a lot of questions about how this rare case occurred,” Judge Hidalgo said.

As for parents worried about their child in school, schools aren’t reporting any cases in school. However, “it’s only a matter of time before that happens,” the Judge said Tuesday.

However, she stressed it’s not a dire concern. “I don’t want parents to think monkeypox is running rampant in schools, because it’s not. It been a time for concern because we’ve never seen it spread this much out of Africa,” Judge Hidalgo said.

ELIGABILITY EXPANSION FOR MONKEYPOX VACCINE

This expanded the eligibility for those who can receive the vaccine. However, supplies become further limited as officials today also announced the expansion of eligibility to kids six and older.

Last week the CDC announced that the vaccine is now able to be offered to 6 months or older, HIV positive individuals or those taking PREP, and anyone diagnosed with chlamydia, quadrupling the number of those eligible as supplies for those eligible continues to shrink.

Vast majority of cases is among men who have sex with men.

LIMITED VACCINE SUPPLIES

Local health and government authorities  are not able to vaccine everyone with the number of doses we have.

Dr. Brown with Harris County Public Health said “we don’t have enough vaccine for everyone available.”

“Prevention is the main action we ask of the public. Our supplies are limited but we are making sure we are protecting those eligible for the vaccine,” Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said Tuesday.

We have asked continuously for more vaccine supply, to no avail.

Dr. Perse said that although monkeypox has been around for decades, it has never been among the human population to the scale it is today. They continue to study transmission and consequences for getting ill. About balancing out the limited supply, “the wildcard is we don’t know how many people will want the vaccine to match the demand.”

Dose sparing technique works just as well as the 1/5 dose of the vial.

HOW TO DETECT MONKEYPOX AND GET HELP

Look for strange new pimples or blisters.

The monkeypox hotline is still available at: (832) 927-0707 and in multiple languages. If you think you qualify or need testing for the vaccine, see your physician first. No online registration is available to the public.