June 18, 2022

State health officials announce first probable case of monkeypox in Indiana

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An electron micrograph image of monkeypox virus particles. - (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases)

An electron micrograph image of monkeypox virus particles.

(National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases)

State health officials announced Saturday Indiana had detected its first probable case of monkeypox. This year’s outbreak was first confirmed in the United Kingdom in May.

The Indiana Department of Health says the person they’ve tested for monkeypox is isolated and health officials are working to confirm if anyone may have had close contact with them.

Monkeypox is spread through skin-to-skin contact with body fluids, monkeypox sores, or through exposure to respiratory droplets during prolonged face-to-face contact.

Monkeypox typically begins with fever, headache, chills, muscle aches and exhaustion up to 21 days. Within one to three days after initial symptoms, the person develops a rash, often beginning on the face and then spreading to other parts of the body.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 113 cases have been detected in 22 states. Indiana’s initial positive test is being sent to the CDC to confirm if it is monkeypox.

Internationally, health officials are raising concerns that monkeypox cases are going undetected – which may be because symptoms of this outbreak can be much more subtle than in past cases.

Monkeypox first spread in the United States in 2003 and was linked to contact with pet prairie dogs.

Contact Lauren at lchapman@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @laurenechapman_.

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