Indiana confirms first monkeypox-related death

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (ADAMS) – Indiana is reporting its first monkeypox-related death.

The Indiana Department of Health says this is the first confirmed death in the Hoosier state where monkeypox was a contributing factor.

The agency says the person had multiple other health conditions contributing to the death.

Since June, over 260 cases of monkeypox have been reported in Indiana.

The Indiana Department of Health released the following:

The Indiana Department of Health (IDOH) has confirmed the death of an Indiana resident in which monkeypox was a contributing factor. The individual had multiple other health conditions that contributed to the death. No additional information about the patient will be provided due to patient privacy laws.

“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,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG. “Our hearts go out to the family of this Hoosier, and I encourage anyone who is at risk to protect themselves by getting vaccinated.”

Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus, which is part of the same family of viruses as smallpox. Monkeypox symptoms usually start within 21 days of exposure to the virus. The most reported symptom of monkeypox is a rash. Some people may have flu-like symptoms before rash, while others may develop a rash first followed by other symptoms, and others may only experience a rash. The rash typically lasts for two to four weeks. People are considered infectious until all scabs from the rash have fallen off and a fresh layer of skin has formed.

Most people who get monkeypox recover without any serious complications or the need for medical treatment. However, people living with a condition that weakens the immune system, such as advanced or untreated HIV, AIDS, certain cancers, an organ transplant, or another immune deficiency disorder, may be more likely to have serious complications or need treatment. In rare occasions, severe illnesses may lead to death. Getting vaccinated can protect against getting monkeypox or can reduce the severity of illness in individuals who contract the monkeypox virus. Contact your local health department or healthcare provider about getting vaccinated.

Since June 17, 264 cases of monkeypox have been reported in Indiana, with most occurring among males ages 18 to 39.

To learn more about monkeypox, click here. Anyone who has symptoms is encouraged to contact a healthcare provider.