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State Sen. Eddie Melton urges Indiana health officials to be proactive in monkeypox response

Times - 8/5/2022

Aug. 6—State Sen. Eddie Melton, D-Gary, is urging the Indiana Department of Health to be proactive in its response to monkeypox as the viral disease continues spreading in the Hoosier State.

In a letter sent Wednesday to Dr. Kristina Box, the state health commissioner, Melton urges Box to share with Hoosiers more information about monkeypox, how it spreads and what steps can be taken to prevent infection.

"One of the first cases of monkeypox in our state was discovered in Gary," Melton said. "Our neighboring state, Illinois, has already declared a state of emergency, which will allow their department of health to begin coordinating efforts to prevent and treat the disease as efficiently as possible"

"I urge our state to begin taking proactive steps as well so we can get out ahead of this health issue before there's a further spike in cases," he writes in the letter.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been 68 monkeypox cases in Indiana, compared to 602 cases in Illinois and 7,510 nationwide.

Earlier this week, Box issued a statewide standing order allowing any eligible health care provider to administer the monkeypox vaccine to individuals age 18 and up in accordance with CDC guidelines.

The state health agency also maintains a webpage with detailed information about the virus at:

"I encourage residents to remain diligent and look out for news from our state and federal health officials as they continue to monitor the situation and the impact on our communities," Melton said.


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