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Gary officials report Indiana’s 2nd monkeypox case

GARY, Ind. (WISH) — Gary officials announced Tuesday that the northwest Indiana city has the state’s second monkeypox patient.

The announcement from Gary came three days after the Indiana Department of Health reported the first probable case of monkeypox in the state.

The city’s health commissioner, Dr. Roland H. Walker, said during a livestreamed news conference that test was performed Saturday at the Methodist Hospitals Northlake Campus outpatient lab, and the text confirmed monkeypox case the next day.

The person in Gary has been isolated, and local health officials have been in touch with close contacts, Walker said.

“For now, there are two confirmed case of monkeypox in the state of Indiana, both confirmed on June 19,” Walker said. “To give you some perspective, there have been at least by the end of last week 10 reported cases in the state of Illinois, seven of those in the Chicagoland area. So if you include Gary in the Chicagoland area, around nine to 10 cases in the Chicagoland area.”

Mayor Jerome Prince said, “Considering our proximity to Chicago it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that this virus has spread to the city of Gary.”

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s online map, which has not been updated since Friday, showed no cases for Indiana on Tuesday. The CDC reports 113 confirmed cases in 21 states and territories through Friday.

Prince and Walker gave information about the disease and urged people not to panic.

The Indiana Department of Health reported Saturday that the first patient was isolated after initial tests Friday, and that confirmation testing was pending at the CDC. Health officials were working to identify anyone who has been in close contact with the patient while infectious. State officials have not provided an update on the first case since Saturday.

Monkeypox cases usually begin with fever, headaches, chills, and body aches about 5 to 21 days after exposure. Within one to three days after symptoms begin, the patient develops a rash. The illness lasts from 2 to 4 weeks. Patients are considered infectious until all scabs from the rash have fallen off.

The CDC’s website has for more information on the monkeypox outbreak.