LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Monkeypox infection rates in Arkansas show no sign of relenting.
Monday, Aug. 15, the Arkansas Department of Health reports the state now has 20 monkeypox cases. This came after an update the previous Friday, which moved the state from 12 to 15 cases, a 25% increase at that time.
With the Monday move from 15 to 20 cases, the state has a second 25% increase.
A month prior, July 3, the state had one case of the disease. A month later, monkeypox was declared a public health emergency on Aug. 4.
Updated information on the health department’s monkeypox web page breaks down infections per Arkansas county. As of Monday, Little Rock’s Pulaski County has the greatest number of infections, with seven of the total. Its northern neighbor Faulkner County has two infections. To the northwest, Pope County has a single infection. Washington and Benton counties have three and one infections, respectively. Cross County, to the east, is the single remaining county with one infection.
Vaccination is recommended if one of three conditions are met:
- People who have been identified by public health officials as having contact with someone who has monkeypox.
- People who are aware that one of their sexual partners in the past two weeks has been diagnosed with monkeypox.
- People who had multiple sexual partners in the past two weeks in an area with known monkeypox.
Vaccines are available in 14 of the 75 Arkansas counties, with the locations mapped on the health department’s web page.
Monkeypox, related to smallpox, is a relatively rare disease that infects with a rash or sore (a pox) and flu-like symptoms. It is rarely fatal, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.