INDIANAPOLIS – The Marion County Public Health Department is reporting additional cases of monkeypox.

According to the agency, Marion County now has 17 cases. The health department announced the county’s first two monkeypox cases on July 13.

The World Health Organization declared monkeypox a public health emergency on July 23 amid global efforts to contain the outbreak.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the most common symptom is a rash that can look like pimples or blisters. These can appear in the mouth or other parts of the body; other symptoms include fever, swollen lymph nodes, body aches and fatigue.

Those infected with monkeypox should be isolated. The illness typically lasts between two and four weeks; it’s infectious from the time symptoms start until the rash is fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed.

The Marion County Public Health Department is administering the monkeypox vaccine to individuals who’ve been exposed by a known contact.

According to the CDC, there are several ways for monkeypox to spread, including:

  • Direct contact with monkeypox rash, sores, or scabs from a person with monkeypox. This is believed to be the most common way that virus is spreading in the U.S.
  • Contact with objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, or towels), and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox.
  • Contact with respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact, or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling, or sex.
  • During pregnancy the virus can spread to a fetus through the placenta.

The CDC has more monkeypox resources available at its website.