Marion County health officials reported the first two probable cases of monkeypox on Wednesday, July 13.
So far, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed ten cases of monkeypox in Indiana. The first case was reported on June 18. Until this week, there were no known cases in Marion County.
In a news release, the Marion County Health Department said the risk of transmission among the general US population is still very low.
“Even though the risk of transmission is very low here, we all need to be aware of the facts about this virus, including the risk factors and how it spreads,” said Dr Virginia Caine, director and chief medical officer from the Marion County Public Health Department. “We are still learning more about monkeypox and encourage anyone concerned about their health to contact a primary care physician or health care provider.”
Globally, there have been more than 1,600 cases of monkeypox in 35 countries and territories, and the numbers are growing. According to the CDC, the West African monkeypox virus – thought to be the one currently circulating around the world – has a mortality rate of 1% and potentially higher rates in people with weaker immune systems. is weakened. No deaths have been reported worldwide.
Symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, chills, muscle aches, and exhaustion, usually before a rash appears.
The virus can be spread by:
- Direct contact, including sexual contact, with an infected person’s rash or wounds (the most common way the virus spreads)
- Contact with objects such as an infected person’s towels and sheets.
- Contact with respiratory secretions during prolonged face-to-face interaction or during intimate physical contact.
- During pregnancy, the virus can spread to the fetus through the placenta.
The CDC recommends anyone with a rash that looks like monkeypox talk to their healthcare provider, even if they don’t think they’ve had contact with an infected person. Anyone with active symptoms of monkeypox should isolate themselves at home in a separate room from others.
The agency also recommends that people at high risk of infection consider vaccination after consulting their health care provider.
According to the CDC, there are two FDA-approved vaccines available to prevent monkeypox –– JYNNEOS (also known as Imvamune or Imvanex) and ACAM2000. Data are not yet available on the effectiveness of these vaccines in the current epidemic.
There is a shortage of JYNNEOS vaccine doses, but according to the CDC’s website, more doses are expected in the coming weeks and months. As of July 1, 474 doses of the JYNNEOS vaccine had been shipped to Indiana, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services.
The ACAM2000 vaccine should not be used in people who are pregnant, have weakened immune systems, or have skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis or eczema.
According to the Indiana Department of Health’s Monkeypox Outbreak Response, “Indiana convened a multidisciplinary advisory group of health clinicians, pharmacists, public health academics, health minorities, ethicists and community advocates to develop Indiana’s tiered allocation approach to this limited vaccine.”
Those with questions about monkeypox vaccine qualifications should contact their healthcare provider or local health department.
In 2003, the Midwest experienced an outbreak of monkeypox. The virus came from a shipment of animals from Ghana to Illinois. It spread to pet dogs, which then came into contact with humans. At that time, 47 people had caught the virus and all appeared to have recovered without passing the virus on to anyone else.
This story comes from a reporting collaboration that includes Indianapolis Recorder and Side Effects Public Media, a public health information initiative based at WFYI. Contact Farah at [email protected] Follow on Twitter: @Farah_Yousrym.