INDIANA (WEHT) – The Indiana Department of Health (IDOH) announced on Friday a total of 45 monkeypox cases have been reported across the state between June 18 and July 28, including two pediatric cases.

“Like many other states, Indiana has seen an increase in monkeypox cases over the past month,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG. “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.”

IDOH says to date, Indiana has received 3,232 doses of Jynneos vaccine. Due to limited vaccine supply, vaccines will at first be prioritized for close contacts of positive cases to prevent severe disease. More vaccines are expected soon, and eligibility will be expanded to groups at high risk for exposure as supplies increase. 

The Health Department says monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus, which is part of the same family of viruses as smallpox. Symptoms are similar to smallpox, but milder, and monkeypox is rarely fatal. The illness typically begins with fever, headache, chills, muscle aches and exhaustion about 5 to 21 days after exposure. Within one to three days,sometimes longer, after the appearance of fever, the patient develops a rash. The rash may start in the mouth or any part of the body before spreading. Some people may only develop the rash. The illness typically lasts for two to four weeks. People are considered infectious until all scabs from the rash have fallen off and a fresh layer of skin has formed.

A press release says transmission is possible either 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.

To learn more about monkeypox, visit this website or the CDC’s monkeypox website. The CDC updates case counts Monday through Friday here. Visit the Indiana Department of Health at this website for important health and safety information.