Monkeypox concern: Local health officials monitor global outbreak of once-rare disease

Health officials in Bartholomew County are monitoring an outbreak of monkeypox that has infected more than 11,000 people in the United States, and say it is “just a matter of time” before the once-rare disease is discovered locally. says.

Monkeypox is a virus that originates in wild animals such as rodents and primates and occasionally infects humans, the Associated Press reported. This virus, which belongs to the same family as smallpox, is endemic in parts of Africa. But this year, he has reported more than 31,000 monkeypox cases in countries historically free of monkeypox, including the United States.

Earlier this month, the United States declared a national public health emergency to slow the outbreak, according to news agency reports. The announcement frees up money and other resources to fight viruses that can cause fevers, body aches, chills, fatigue and acne-like bumps on many parts of the body.

As of Friday, Indiana had 78 confirmed cases of the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Bartholomew County health officials and Columbus area health officials were not aware of any local cases of the virus last week.

“I think it’s only a matter of time before we start seeing some cases locally,” said Bartholomew County Health Officer Dr. Brian Niedbarski.

According to news agency reports, the monkeypox virus is spread through prolonged skin-to-skin contact, such as cuddling, snuggling, kissing, and sharing bedding, towels, and clothing. Those who have gotten sick so far have been mostly men who have sex with men.

But health officials stress that the virus can spread to anyone who is in close contact with an infected person or fabric that has touched an infected person.According to the Indiana Department of Health And two Indiana children had the virus as of July 29.

A CRH official said the hospital system had “increased levels of awareness” and was “monitoring the situation.”

CRH spokeswoman Kelsey DeClue said, “We want the public’s attention, especially now, as it has been elevated to a national public health emergency.” “…I want the public to take it seriously.”

Local officials say the virus outbreak is feared, but most monkeypox cases are mild and do not require hospitalization. Several deaths have been reported in the country.

Because monkeypox requires very close contact to spread, it is unlikely to cause large waves of disease like COVID-19, and can be airborne from asymptomatic people, the communications said. The company says

“This will be primarily an outpatient illness that we manage, unlike COVID, which is very impatient,” DeClue said. not.”

There is currently no specific treatment for the virus, but according to the CDC, the two diseases belong to the same virus family, so antiviral drugs and vaccines developed to protect against smallpox can be used. , can be used to prevent and treat monkeypox patients. CRH officials said the hospital system will have access to these drugs if patients need them.

limited vaccine

Last week, U.S. health officials approved a plan to give people the limited supply of monkeypox vaccine by reducing it to one-fifth of what it normally is, according to the Associated Press.

A so-called dose-sparing approach also calls for administering the Jynneos vaccine by injecting it just under the skin rather than in deeper tissues. The recipient will get his two shots at four week intervals.

The highly unusual measure is a clear acknowledgment that the United States currently lacks the supplies needed to vaccinate everyone seeking protection from the rapidly spreading virus.

This includes the 1.6 to 1.7 million Americans who federal officials consider to be at highest risk for the disease, mostly men who are HIV-positive or at high risk of infection. To vaccinate that group would require more than 3.2 million doses.

As of July 29, Indiana has received 3,232 doses of the Gineos vaccine, according to state officials. Due to limited vaccine supplies, vaccines are initially prioritized for close contacts of positive cases to prevent severe disease. Additional vaccines are coming soon, and as supplies increase, eligibility will be extended to groups at higher risk of exposure.

This is not the first time monkeypox has been detected in the United States. In 2003, he had 47 confirmed or probable infections in her six states in the United States, according to news agency reports. They caught the virus from pet prairie dogs that were kept near small mammals imported from Ghana.

As the outbreak continues to escalate in the United States, Niedbarski said there is no need for locals to “make changes to their daily activities” at this time.

“Since monkeypox is now declared a national health emergency, it’s clear that as health officials we need to be vigilant,” said Niedbalski. “We hope that anyone who is at high risk or who has had direct contact with monkeypox seeks immediate medical attention if they have a suspicious rash. I don’t think I need to add.”

Detailed information

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