OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma health leaders are reporting a sudden spike in the number of monkeypox cases in the Sooner State.
On Wednesday, officials with the Oklahoma State Department of Health confirmed that eight cases of monkeypox have been found in state.
That’s an increase of four cases since Monday.
So far, there is no connection between the patients in Oklahoma. Two of the cases are in northeast Oklahoma, while the other six are located in central parts of the state.
Health officials say the virus is not easily transmissible. Monkeypox can be transmitted to humans through direct, physical contact with an infected person or animal.
“It’s not something that if you’re out and about you’re going to have the risk of being exposed to monkeypox,” said Jolianne Stone, Oklahoma State Department of Health epidemiologist. “You have to be in close contact.”
Transmission can also occur between humans through respiratory droplets or through direct contact with bodily fluids and lesions.
Monkeypox symptoms can include fever, rash, swollen lymph nodes, as well as firm, lesions.
A person with monkeypox will not see symptoms for 12 days, according to the state health department.
OSDH is advising clinicians to have a heightened awareness if a suspicious rash, consistent with monkeypox, shows up on someone who has traveled to countries with recently confirmed cases of the virus, reported having contact with a person or people who have similar appearing rash or have received a positive test result for monkeypox.
While a monkeypox vaccine is available, it might be hard to find.
Due to the vaccine being in short supply, the CDC has determined the amount of vaccines a state can receive based on case counts and other risk factors regarding population.
Oklahoma can only order a limited supply so OSDH is budgeting vaccine administration to those who are at the highest risk for contracting monkeypox.
If you are concerned about having monkeypox symptoms or would like more information, call (405) 426-8710.