INDIANAPOLIS — A total of 45 monkeypox cases, including two in children, have been reported across Indiana from June 18 to July 28, the Indiana Department of Health said Friday.
"Like many other states, Indiana has seen an increase in monkeypox cases over the past month,” said State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box in a statement.
“Monkeypox does not easily spread through brief casual contact, but it’s important to remember that anyone can be affected if they are a close contact of a positive case. Hoosiers who believe they may have been exposed or who develop symptoms consistent with monkeypox are urged to contact a healthcare provider," Box added.
As of Thursday, Indiana had received 3,232 doses of Jynneos monkeypox vaccine. Vaccines are being prioritized for those who have had close contact with someone who has tested positive due to limited supply, the health department said.
More supply and expanded eligibility for those at high risk for exposure is expected soon, according to the department.
On Thursday, the Marion County Health Department said 17 total presumed positive cases of monkeypox had been identified within the county.
The same day, the Tippecanoe County Health Department said three confirmed monkeypox cases had been identified there. Any known contacts of the three people who tested positive were notified.
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.
To date, a total of 4,907 confirmed monkeypox cases have been reported across the U.S., according to the CDC. Of that number, 45 are in Indiana.
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.