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Marion County health officials don't urge changing summer plans as monkeypox cases rise across US

More than 1,200 doses of the vaccine have been offered to people most at risk of contracting the disease.
Credit: AP
FILE - This 2003 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows mature, oval-shaped monkeypox virions, left, and spherical immature virions, right, obtained from a sample of human skin associated with the 2003 prairie dog outbreak. WHO's top monkeypox expert Dr. Rosamund Lewis said she doesn’t expect the hundreds of cases reported to date to turn into another pandemic, but acknowledged there are still many unknowns about the disease, including how exactly it’s spreading and whether the suspension of mass smallpox immunization decades ago may somehow be speeding its transmission. (Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regner/CDC via AP, File)

INDIANAPOLIS — The number of confirmed cases of monkeypox has now risen to 31 in the United States. 

According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, those cases are now in 12 states and Washington, D.C., and while it isn't here in the Hoosier state yet, health leaders say it could only be a matter of time.

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.

Early data from the CDC show that gay and bisexual men make up a high number of the cases.

"However, anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has monkeypox is at risk," the CDC said in an online post

RELATED: No, the COVID-19 vaccine can’t give you monkeypox

As the numbers grow, national health leaders worry the disease could spread through communities. However, health leaders in Marion County say it shouldn't stop your summer plans.

"I think it is so safe right now, not a problem. The transmission rate is just so low in this country, you don't have to worry about having any fun out there this summer, but do be on the lookout if someone develops a rash that looks like water blisters," said Dr. Virginia Caine, director and chief medical officer of Marion County Health Department. 

As cases continue to climb nationwide, testing and vaccination is ramping up. More than 1,200 doses of the vaccine have been offered to people most at risk of contracting the disease.

RELATED: 4 Fast Facts about monkeypox

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