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Indiana Department of Health launches monkeypox dashboard

Posted at 6:22 PM, Aug 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-31 18:22:27-04

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Department of Health has launched a new data dashboard to track monkeypox cases in the state.

The data is broken down by gender, age group, race, ethnicity, and public health district.

Indiana has reported 153 probable or confirmed cases of monkeypox since mid-June.

“Our goal with any dashboard is to provide accurate, up-to-date information on the status of an outbreak or important public health issue to keep Hoosiers informed,” IDOH Chief Medical Officer Lindsay Weaver, M.D., FACEP said. “As the monkeypox situation evolves, we continue to review cases and lab results in consultation with our federal partners to ensure our data accurately reflect the current situation. We are grateful to our laboratory, epidemiology and data teams for their continued review of cases so that we can keep Hoosiers informed about this outbreak.”

The dashboard will be updated Monday through Friday by 5 p.m. to reflect cases that were identified as of 5 p.m. the day before.

Due to small case counts in most areas of the state, cases will be broken down by the public health emergency preparedness district at this time to protect patient privacy.

Monkeypox is caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. The symptoms are similar to smallpox as they are part of the same family.

Typically, the illness begins with a fever, headache, chills, muscle aches and exhaustion. These occur about five to 21 days after exposure. Within one to three days, a rash will develop.

Overall, the illness can last two to four weeks. Those with the unless are considered infectious until all scabs from the rash have fallen off and a fresh layer of skin has formed.

Person-to-person transmission is possible through skin-to-skin contact with body fluids, monkeypox sores or contaminated items, such as bedding or clothing, or through exposure to respiratory droplets during prolonged face-to-face contact.

>More about Monkeypox

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Monkeypox is a disease caused by infection with a virus that's part of the same family as the variola virus, the virus that causes smallpox. Monkeypox symptoms are similar, but milder. It is not related to chickenpox.

The rare disease was first discovered in 1958 and the first human case was recorded in 1970. It had been reported in people in several central and western African countries prior to an outbreak this year, according to the CDC.

Many of those affected in the current outbreak are men who have sexual contact with other men, but anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has the illness can contract it.

The risk of transmission in the general U.S. population is considered low, as it does not spread easily between people without close contact, according to the Marion County Health Department.

Symptoms of monkeypox include a rash, which may look like pimples or blisters, and can spread through person-to-person contact in several different ways, such as the following, according to the Marion County Health Department:

  • Direct contact with monkeypox rash, sores, or scabs from a person with monkeypox. This is believed to be the most common way that virus is spreading in the U.S.
  • Contact with objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, or towels), and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox.
  • Contact with respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact, or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling, or sex.
  • During pregnancy, the virus can spread to a fetus through the placenta.

Antiviral drugs and vaccines have been developed to protect against, prevent and treat monkeypox infections. People who test positive for the disease should isolate while they're infected. In some cases, close contacts may also need to quarantine.

More information on monkeypox is available on the CDC's website.