Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Health officials report first monkeypox-related death in Indiana


INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WPTA and WTHR) – Health officials in Indiana have confirmed the first death of a person in the state where they say monkeypox was a contributing factor.

The Indiana Department of Health made sure to note the person had multiple other health conditions that contributed to their death.

“Although monkeypox cases in Indiana have declined significantly as a result of the availability of vaccine, it is important to remember that this disease is still circulating and can cause severe illness and death,” State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG, said.

264 cases of monkeypox have been reported in the state since June 17, 2022. IDOH says most of those cases were in men between the ages of 18 to 39.

RELATED: Vaccine appears to protect against monkeypox, CDC says

What are the symptoms of monkeypox?

The symptoms tend to overlap with those of most viruses. Fevers, headaches, chills, muscle aches, exhaustion and swollen lymph nodes are all symptoms of monkeypox. The true indicator that distinctly separates it from the rest is a pimple-like rash that appears on the face and other parts of the body, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“The symptoms of monkeypox are very much like the symptoms of a cold initially,” said Dr. Payal Kohli, assistant clinical professor at the University of Colorado. “So if you’ve got fevers, exhaustion, chills, a rash with or without swollen lymph nodes, you have to have a pretty high concern that it could potentially be monkeypox.”

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a vaccine that would prevent monkeypox and smallpox in 2019. The Jynneos vaccine is administered in two doses and is recommended for individuals 18 and older that are at high risk for monkeypox. The CDC has a list of current eligibility for the vaccine:

  1. Known contacts who are identified by public health via case investigation, contact tracing and risk exposure assessments
  2. Presumed contacts who may meet the following criteria:
    Know that a sexual partner in the past 14 days was diagnosed with monkeypox
    Had multiple sexual partners in the past 14 days in a jurisdiction with known monkeypox

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