INDIANAPOLIS — The first probable case of monkeypox in Indiana this year has been identified, state health officials announced Saturday.
The Indiana Department of Health completed initial testing of the case on Saturday. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will do further testing to confirm.
IDOH explained that based on the initial positive test and preliminary case investigation, state health officials consider this a probable monkeypox infection.
The patient remains isolated, and health officials said they are working to identify anyone the patient may have had close contact with while infectious.
Monkeypox is a viral disease similar to smallpox but clinically less severe. Symptoms include the common fever, headache and sore throat. However, a rash that looks like water blisters will also start to develop on the body.
Person-to-person 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, according to IDOH.
“The risk of monkeypox among the general public continues to be extremely low,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box. “Monkeypox is rare and does not easily spread through brief casual contact. Please continue to take the same steps you do to protect against any infection, including washing your hands frequently and thoroughly, and check with a healthcare provider if you have any new signs or symptoms.”
To date, the CDC has confirmed 113 monkeypox cases in 21 states and territories this year.