MUNCIE, Ind. — As of Thursday, the number of monkeypox cases in Indiana had reached 62 cases, up from 45 the previous Thursday, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Those figures included at least two pediatric cases.
The disease, which is spread largely through skin-to-skin contact, has been spreading in the United States since May 17, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began its response to the US outbreak. The spread has been global, with Europe in the spotlight. of the outbreak The World Health Organization declared monkeypox a “global emergency” in late July.
Megan Wade-Taxter, a spokeswoman for the Indiana Department of Health, said the agency does not have monkeypox data broken down to the county or region level at this time. She had no information about the presence of the disease in east central Indiana.
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As of late July, Marion County was reporting 17 suspected cases of monkeypox there, The Indianapolis Star reported. Cases have also been surging in other parts of the state; The Tippecanoe County Health Department announced on July 28 that the county had three confirmed but “mild” cases of monkeypox, and just days before St. Joseph County announced its first confirmed case.
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As of last week, Indiana had received 3,232 doses of the Jynneos vaccine used to combat monkeypox. Due to the limited supply of vaccines, vaccines are initially prioritized for those who are in close contact with positive cases to prevent serious illness, according to the IDOH.
An additional vaccine is expected in the state soon, according to a statement from IDOH. Vaccine eligibility will expand to groups at high risk of exposure as supplies increase.
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Jammie Bane, administrator for the Delaware County Health Department, said monkeypox poses a general risk to the population.
“Our citizens need to be aware that anyone can get monkeypox,” he said in an email. “This appears to be an equal opportunity virus that spreads primarily through direct contact. However, epidemiological data seem to point to a smaller subset of our population being at higher risk thus far in this outbreak.”
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About 99.1% of the total confirmed cases were men, and 98.4% of these men reported male-to-male sexual contact, Bane said.
“Some patients report very mild symptoms, and because of this they do not protect others by avoiding contact,” he said. “Skin lesions tend to be the main symptom that people associate with monkeypox. These lesions can be obvious, but they can also appear benign like other common rashes or skin conditions.”
Bane said having an understanding of common monkeypox symptoms and risk factors is helpful in avoiding contracting monkeypox.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director of the World Health Organization, has advised those most at risk to consider reducing the number of sexual partners.
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“That means making safe decisions for yourself and for others, for men who have sex with men,” Tedros told the Associated Press. “This includes, for the time being, reducing their number of sexual partners.”
“Monkeypox is not easily spread through brief casual contact, but it is important to remember that anyone can be affected if they are a close contact of a positive case,” Indiana Health Commissioner Kris Box said in an email. a statement. “Indianans who believe they may have been exposed or develop symptoms consistent with monkeypox are urged to contact a health care provider.”
How is the monkeypox virus transmitted?
Marshall Glesby, an infectious disease specialist at Weill Cornell Medicine and New York-Presbyterian, told USA Today that the disease can be spread to anyone; for example, two children in the US contracted monkeypox through close contact with infected family members.
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The contagion is part of the same family of viruses as smallpox, according to IDOH. Symptoms are similar to smallpox, but milder, and monkeypox is rarely fatal.
In addition to contact with rashes, scabs, or body fluids from a person with monkeypox, spread can also occur from touching objects, fabrics (clothes, bedding, or towels), and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox. or by contact with respiratory secretions. WHO officials said anyone who is in close contact with a patient or their contaminated clothing or sheets is at risk.
Monkeypox was discovered in 1958 when two outbreaks of a smallpox-like disease occurred in colonies of monkeys kept for research, hence its name, the CDC said. Rodents and nonhuman primates (such as monkeys) can harbor the virus and infect people.
What are the symptoms of monkeypox?
According to the CDC, symptoms of monkeypox can include:
- Muscle aches and back pain
- swollen lymph nodes
- Shaking chills
- Respiratory symptoms (for example, sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough)
- A rash that can be located on or near the genitals or anus, but can also be on other areas such as the hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth.
The UN health agency warned that the disease could be more serious among children and pregnant women.
Bane said the county health department encourages anyone with concerns to visit in.gov/health/monkeypox for more detailed information and to register at http://protect-us.mimecast.com/s/lUaRCL91K8fNgKqw7TPqxxp?domain. =bit.ly to be notified of clinical opportunities in the ECI area.
To date, according to the CDC, about 25,391 cases have been reported in more than 83 countries and 6,325 cases in the US.
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